Objective

Food safety is recognized as a universal public health concern. Enormous economic and human resources are invested globally to ensure that there is a safe food supply. However, most of these resources are focused on improving food safety through the reduction of harm from chemical and microbial contaminants present in foods, rather than on the safety of the foods themselves. The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute addresses this challenge by providing information resources and capacity building activities for scientists, regulators, and the public, focusing particularly on the safety assessment of foods and feeds derived from GE plants.

Collaborators & Partners

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, CropLife International, CropLife China, China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Chinese Society of Agricultural Biotechnology, Chinese National Institute for Nutrition and Health, and Estel Consult Ltd.

Current Activity

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute's concluded projects in the area of food and feed safety assessment include:

GE Food Safety Capacity Building

Understanding the need for technical capacity building for food safety assessment, the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute shares its knowledge and scientific expertise by facilitating regional workshops and developing and disseminating reference materials.

Crop Composition Database (CCDB)

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute’s CCDB is a curated, open resource that provides data on the natural variability in the nutritional composition (e.g., nutrients, anti-nutrients, and secondary metabolites) of key crop species.

Past Work

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute's concluded projects in the area of food and feed safety assessment include:

Resources

Newsletters

Find out about the work we are doing by reading our monthly newsletter.

Safety Assessment of Foods and Feeds Derived from Genetically Engineered Plants

Supported by a grant from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and organized 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), this online training course for Indonesian regulators consists of ten modules on the topic of GE food and feed safety assessment.

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Microbial Biotechnology for Novel Foods Webinar Series

Supported by a grant from the New Technologies and Production Methods Division at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Trade Policy and Geographic Affairs (TPGA) area, the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute organized this webinar series to discuss the history and opportunities of microbial biotechnology for novel foods.

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OECD Working Group on the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds (WG-SNFF)

The OECD Task Force on the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds (WG-SNFF), for which the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute is a recognized observer organization, works on technical issues related to the food safety of novel foods and feeds, including the products of agricultural biotechnology.

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OECD Working Group on the Harmonisation of Regulatory Oversight in Biotechnology (WG-HROB)

The OECD Working Group on the Harmonisation of Regulatory Oversight in Biotechnology (WG-HROB), for which the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute is a recognized observer organization, works on technical issues related to the environmental risk/safety assessment of organisms that are produced through modern biotechnology.

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Scientific Symposium: Addressing Water Variability and Scarcity – The Role of Agricultural Research

This year’s Agriculture & Food Systems Institute Annual Scientific Symposium, co-organized with the Environment and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), focused on the role of agricultural research in addressing water variability and scarcity.

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eLearning

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute has developed eLearning courses that focus on environmental risk assessment.

Criterios propuestos para identificar cultivos genéticamente modificados que presentan un riesgo bajo o insignificante para el ambiente en condiciones de baja presencia en semillas

This article is the Spanish translation of “Proposed Criteria for Identifying GE Crop Plants That Pose a Low or Negligible Risk to the Environment Under Conditions of Low-Level Presence in Seed,” which appeared in Transgenic Research.

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Characteristics and Safety Assessment of Intractable Proteins in Genetically Modified Crops

While the basic tiered weight-of-evidence approach for assessing the safety of genetically modified crops proposed by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) in 2008 is applicable to intractable proteins, new or modified methods may be required. The alternatives are discussed in this paper.

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Low Level Presence in Seed: A Science Based Approach to Expedited Environmental Risk Assessment

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute organized a workshop held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 18-19, 2013 on low level presence (LLP) in seed. This document contains the conference proceedings to address the potential adverse environmental impacts that might arise from an LLP in seed situation using a consistent and scientifically defensible approach to environmental risk assessment.

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Toxicological Evaluation of Proteins Introduced Into Food Crops

This manuscript focuses on the toxicological evaluation of proteins introduced into GM crops to impart desired traits. In many cases, introduced proteins can be shown to have a history of safe use.

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Water Recovery and Reuse: Guidelines for Safe Application of Water Conservation Methods in Beverage Production and Food Processing

Many beverage producers and food processors are experiencing multiple pressures to find ways to minimize the total volume of water they use in the production of their product, and also to reduce waste water discharges.

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