Watch this space for future seminars.
Webinar on Proposal P1055: Definitions for gene technology and new breeding techniques
To support public consultation on Proposal P1055: Definitions for gene technology and new breeding techniques, we hosted a public webinar on 12 November 2021 to take stakeholders through the proposal and answer questions.
Thank you to those who participated. For those who could not make it, we recorded the webinar and it can be viewed via the link above.
We provided the opportunity for questions during the webinar, and were able to respond to most of them, however, answers to the questions we missed are provided below:
Question: Has the current oversight of GM applications helped ensure they are all safe or does FSANZ believe that process was unnecessary?
Response: The current regulatory approach to GM foods is both important and necessary to ensure that Australian and New Zealand consumers can have confidence that GM food is safe. FSANZ's priority objective is the protection of public health and safety and our assessments allow us to ensure this is the case across all the areas we work including GM.
Question: Is it fair to say that the definitions will continue to be process-based (now also to include NBT) but the oversight exclusions product-based and risk-focused?
Response: Yes. FSANZ is proposing to continue using a process-based definition for 'gene technology', which would be expanded to include new and emerging genetic technologies. The expanded definition for gene technology would be used in combination with product-based exclusions that are risk-based.
Question: Is one general approach to exclude application of all gene editing technologies (ZFN's, CRISPR/Cas9, TALENs, meganucleases) as a class en toto from triggering "gene technology" and GM Food designation? Whereas restriction endonuclease or site-directed recombination would trigger gene technology designation and GM Food?
Response: In revising the definitions for 'gene technology' and 'food produced using gene technology', FSANZ's
assessment supports a greater focus on food products, rather than specific technologies or techniques. Genome editing may be used to produce a variety of different food products, some of which may have changed characteristics that warrant pre-market safety assessment and approval. Excluding an entire class of technologies would not be a suitable approach for food as it may not deliver appropriate risk-based outcomes.
Further questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2020 Hindsight: Lessons Learned and Opportunities for Better Food Regulation
On 10 September 2020, we heard from an expert panel who shared insights and learnings from COVID-19, discussed some of the key challenges facing food regulation, and explored the opportunities for a modern food regulatory system.
If you attended the webinar, we'd love your feedback and ideas for future events - check your email for the survey.
You can read what some of our attendees had to say about the webinar here.