Toxicological test systems
Work packages 1&2:
There is an ongoing debate about whether animal feeding trials are needed to assess the safety of genetically modified (GM) plants. Until now, 90-day feeding trials with whole food/feed have only been requested by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in indicated cases. Whether they should be a mandatory test method for the risk assessment of GM food and feed is a question currently being discussed by the European Commission.
GRACE was set up to examine the validity of feeding trials (WP1) and compare the outcomes and performance with alternative in vitro methods (WP2). In collaboration with international universities and research institutions, GRACE will design and conduct laboratory experiments to further refine the current test guidelines for 90-day feeding studies established by international organisations. In addition, GRACE will evaluate and identify relevant in vitro approaches based on cell lines, and in silico methodologies that may be used as alternatives to animal experiments. The results of these studies will provide guidance for the use and improvement of existing methods for GM food and feed safety evaluations in the EU.
The database CADIMA (Central Access Database for Impact Assessment of Crop Genetic Improvement Technologies) will contain 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.
It is currently under development and covers the projects GRACE and PreSto ERA-Net.