Review and database
Numerous international studies and research activities have addressed the potential social, environmental and health impacts of genetically modified (GM) plants in food and feed. Yet the existing evidence on the effects of GM plants is often contradictory and the standard of scientific research varies widely. Research results are not readily available and conclusions are not always transparent or easy to understand. Consequently, it has been difficult to put any identified risks relating to GM plants into realistic contexts and to provide balanced, comprehensible information to decision makers.
In the following Work Packages, GRACE will firstly establish guidelines for a transparent consensus review system in the EU to assess the quality of the existing data on the impacts of GM plants (WP8). This Good Review Practice will provide a framework that will be used to compile an extensive online, open-access database (WP6) on the health effects (WP3), socio-economic benefits (WP4) and environmental impacts (WP5) of GM plants. In addition to published literature, GRACE will also include unpublished research activities to identify potential knowledge gaps concerning commercialized GM plants and those that have not yet been approved.
A team of experts will assess the scientific quality of the data and draft recommendations on whether the reports fundamentally change the risk status of a GM plant. All conclusions and proposals derived from the reviews will be available on the GRACE website and communicated via workshops, dialogue events and media activities to the project partners, stakeholders and the public.
The database CADIMA (Central Access Database for Impact Assessment of Crop Genetic Improvement Technologies) contains quality assessed studies and conclusions on the health effects, socio-economic consequences and environmental impacts of GM plants as well as raw data of animal feeding studies and alternative in vitro approaches.