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Canada and FSANZ working together on GM food safety

Last updated: 28 August 2020

We are working with Health Canada on the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods. We both have a similar approach when it comes to the safety assessment of these foods:

Working together:

  • reduces duplication of work
  • may inform future regulatory decisions
  • provides an opportunity to share scientific expertise

For GM food producers, the initiative may reduce regulatory assessment costs, save time and streamline the GM food approval process.

First steps

Health Canada and FSANZ began the initiative in 2013 by comparing operating procedures and approval processes. We also looked at how each agency conducts a GM food safety assessment. Only minor changes needed to be made to our respective processes for collaboration to be possible.

From this initial work, we agreed that sharing assessments is the best way to achieve benefits.  

Next steps

This initiative entered a pilot phase assessing the safety of a GM food that is not yet authorised for use in Canada or Australia and New Zealand.

Health Canada will conduct the assessment of the GM food and FSANZ will review the assessment.

If both agencies are satisfied with the results, we will use the safety assessment to authorise this GM food in Canada/Australia and New Zealand.

The pilot will be completed by early 2021. The safety assessment sharing system, including guidance for product developers, will then be finalised.

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