Online Q&A session: How useful are animal feeding studies in plant research?
This is the key question of an online Q&A session hosted by sense about science, and a primary focus of the EU-funded GRACE project. Wendy Harwood from the John Innes Centre and two experts from the GRACE project (Professor Joachim Schiemann* and Professor Pablo Steinberg*) responded to questions around this topic.
Interested members of the public were able to raise their questions via Twitter, Email or Facebook. The main areas of interest included the added value of and restrictions on feeding studies in the regulation process for GM products, how to make such studies scientifically sound and reliable, the best animal species to use, whether feeding studies can answer all relevant safety concerns, and whether industry or independent academics should perform such studies.
The host of this session, sense about science, is a charitable trust that aims to equip people to make sense of scientific claims and, in this way, to support fact-based public discussions about science and evidence. The organisation works with over 5,000 scientists to help civic groups, including community organisations, media and commentators, weigh up claims about evidence.
The GRACE project tests different types of feeding studies and alternative methods for the assessment of GMO impacts on human health. The project will provide unbiased data as a basis for future regulatory decisions. In the case of the 90-day feeding studies, which recently became obligatory for GM food/feed approval in the EU, the European Commission will be reviewing its position at the end of 2015 in the light of the outcome of GRACE and other credible scientific knowledge.
* Professor Joachim Schiemann, Director of the Institute for Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology and coordinator of the EU-funded GRACE project (GMO Risk Assessment and Communication of Evidence)
* Professor Pablo Steinberg, Director of the Institute for Food Toxicology & Chemical Analysis
sense about science
Q&A sessions on GMO topics
- How useful are animal feeding studies in plant research?
- Using GM plants to ‘grow’ medicine
- Safety and regulation of GM
- Genes and testing of GM crops
- GM trials, super-weeds, and ecosystems
- Commercialisation of GM