Last updated: 18 January 2021
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:
- 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.
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 would be the best way to achieve benefits.
This initiative entered a pilot phase in 2020 assessing the safety of a GM food that is not yet authorised for use in Canada or Australia and New Zealand.
Health Canada conducted the assessment of the GM food and FSANZ reviewed the assessment.
Once satisfied with the results, each agency would then independently use the safety assessment to authorise the GM food in Canada and Australia/New Zealand.
The pilot will be completed by early 2021. The safety assessment sharing system, including guidance for product developers, will then be finalised.