Posted: May 12, 2023
The European Commission is ready for innovation in food production including cell-based foods, said Bruno Gautrais, EC's head of unit dealing with Novel Foods, during the 27th scientific colloquium on cell culture-derived food organized on May 11 by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Innovative new technologies of cell culture, tissue engineering and precision fermentation are paving the way for potential new foods such as meat or dairy. According to the European Novel Food Regulation, it is the task of the Commission to grant market access to novel foods after EFSA has assessed their safety.
“We have no preconceived ideology around cell-based products, but they need undeniable science,” Gautrais told the crowd at the opening of the colloquium.
So far, EFSA has completed the evaluation of almost 100 submitted applications for novel food, that were not on the table of European consumers before May 15, 1997. This includes products present in nature, such as basil seeds, purple parsnips and crickets. However, the scientific body is aware that its risk assessment methodologies need to be well equipped to support the introduction of products deriving from emerging and advancing technologies.
“We do not know which role cell-based food will have in our diet, what we know is that it has to be safe,” says the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. (NIPH) Helle Knutsen and EFSA's Novel Foods panel of experts told the audience at the colloquium.
By Daniela De Lorenzo
Date Published: May 10, 2023
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