Safety Assessment of Foods and Feeds Derived from Genetically Engineered Plants

This course provides a refresher in the basics of the safety assessment of foods and feeds derived from GE plants and also addresses current international practices related to stacked events.

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Safety Assessment of Foods and Feeds Derived from Genetically Engineered Plants provides a refresher in the basics of the safety assessment of foods and feeds derived from genetically engineered (GE) plants and will also address current international practices related to the assessment of foods and feeds derived from GE plants containing multiple transgenes (i.e., stacked events). This course is designed for scientists, academics, researchers, risk assessors, and regulators who are involved in GE food and feed safety assessment.


In August, 2017, the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute, supported by a grant from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and in collaboration with the Indonesian National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) and the Indonesian Center for Agricultural Biotechnology and Genetic Resources Research and Development (ICABIOGRAD), hosted a three-day training course on Safety Assessment of Foods and Feeds Derived from Genetically Engineered Plants. Phase I of this in-depth technical training that took place in Bogor, Indonesia, covered the origin of modern food and feed safety assessment methods for foods derived from GE plants, after which participants were guided through a series of lectures and practical activities to help them develop experience in applying safety assessment concepts and reviewing associated data. Phase II of the program took place in Wilmington, Delaware in December of 2017 and reinforced learnings from Phase I by providing participants with tours and demonstrations at the Stine Haskell Research Laboratory, where regulatory studies related to food safety assessment were routinely conducted. Phase III is an online course that has been designed to help Phase I and II participants revisit their training, as well as to introduce these concepts and tools to additional regulators.

Course Overview

This course consists of ten modules that will uncover GE food safety assessment  based on concepts, principles, standards, guidelines and documents that have been developed at the international level through intergovernmental organizations like the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Participants will take a deep dive into the framework of food safety assessment, the concept of comparative assessment and determination of substantial equivalence. Considerations for feed safety, effective communication and consultation with all interested parties throughout the risk analysis process, as well as the approaches to safety assessment and regulation of breeding stacks that are obtained by conventional breeding of existing transgenic events will be discussed. The first three modules are made available at the beginning of the course, with the following modules released during the subsequent weeks, interspersed with discussion sessions and opportunities for feedback.

Course Materials

All modules in this course are structured as a series of videos. Links to useful resources, are provided below each video, along with a transcript.


  • CAC: Codex Alimentarius Commission
  • EU: European Union
  • FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization
  • GE: genetically engineered
  • OECD: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • rDNA: recombinant DNA
  • WHO: World Health Organization

Note: The words genetically engineered, GE, recombinant-DNA technology and modern biotechnology have been used interchangeably in this course

Quizzes & Feedback

At the end of each module there will be a summary to quickly revisit the concepts in that module followed by a short, ungraded quiz to help participants self-assess their progress.

  • Quizzes may be retaken as many times as desired by clicking the “Restart Quiz” button after completing the quiz. Alternatively, all questions, with the correct answers indicated, may be reviewed using the “View Questions” button.
  • During a quiz, when a question is answered incorrectly, the correct answer(s) will be indicated with a green outline(s).

Some modules will also include opportunities for feedback that will help instructors fine-tune subsequent modules to best address needs identified by participants.

Tips for Navigating the Course

  • Course progression is linear, i.e., you cannot skip to a later lesson without having completed all the lessons prior.
  • Not all modules will be available when you first access the course. Later modules are set to be released at pre-determined dates, which allows us to make some adjustments based on your feedback.
  • Videos may be enlarged to full screen mode using the button at the bottom right hand corner of the video, next to the gear icon. Press ESC on your keyboard to exit full screen.
  • If you are experiencing lag when watching the videos due to internet connectivity, try using the gear icon at the bottom of the video to lower the resolution (240p is lowest and 1080p is highest).
  • Once you have finished watching a video, do not forget to mark the lesson as complete. The “Mark Complete” button may be found at the top of the window (next to the “Previous Lesson” button) or by scrolling down to the bottom of the lesson (above the “Back to Course” link). This button will only work after you have finished watching the video.
  • To start the course, click on the first lesson on the side bar.
  • Please do not hesitate to contact us at if you need assistance!