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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 ILSI Research Foundation 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

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, Canadian Grains Council, CropLife International

Areas of Focus

The ILSI Research Foundation is focused on the following activities related to genetically engineered (GE) food and feed safety assessments:

Crop Composition Database

The ILSI Crop Composition Database contains over 972,000 data points on the natural composition variability of conventionally grown crops that can be used to assess similarities and differences in important nutrients and anti-nutrients.

e-Learning Courses

The ILSI Research Foundation has developed e-Learning courses that focus on how basic decisions are made regarding food safety and how problem formulation can be used in assessments to ensure they are fit for purpose.

GE Food Safety Capacity Building

Understanding the need for technical capacity building for food safety assessment, the ILSI Research Foundation shares its knowledge and scientific expertise by facilitating regional workshops and developing and disseminating reference materials.

Resources

Newsletters

Find out about the work being done by the ILSI Research Foundation by reading our monthly e-newsletter.

e-Learning

e-Learning courses have been developed by the ILSI Research Foundation that focus on food safety.

Phase II: GE Food/Feed Safety Assessment Training

Newark, DE, USA

The ILSI Research Foundation is organizing a five-day training program at the Stine Haskell Research Facility in Wilmington, DE to observe how food and feed safety assessment data is collected in the laboratory.

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Phase I: GE Food/Feed Safety Assessment Training

Bogor, Indonesia

The ILSI Research Foundation conducted a three-day technical training program in Bogor, Indonesia for participants to engage in practical exercises highlighting the fundamental concepts employed in food and feed safety assessments of genetically engineered (GE) crops.

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Workshop on Development and Challenges for Agricultural Biotechnology

Beijing, China

The ILSI Research Foundation together with ILSI Focal Point in China, the National Institute for Nutrition and Health at China CDC, and the Chinese Society of Agricultural Biotechnology organized a one-day workshop focused on the food safety of foods derived from genetically engineered crops.

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OECD Task Force on the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds

Paris, France

The ILSI Research Foundation attended the OECD Task Force on the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds, which works on technical issues related to the food safety of novel foods and feeds, including food derived from transgenic organisms.

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Crop Health and Its Global Impacts on the Components of Food Security

This article attempts to develop a framework that would enable assessment of the impacts of plant diseases, referred collectively to as crop health, on food security via its components. Given the number of components and interactions at play, a systems modelling approach is required to address the functioning of food systems exposed to plant disease risks.

Read more

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Legacy Work

Condensed and Centralized Food Safety Information

Finding accurate and reliable information about the safety of foods derived from genetically engineered plants can be daunting, particularly for regulators who may not have a specific application on their desk. This information is essential for risk assessors and regulators who may need to make decisions regarding the safety of small amounts of genetically engineered material which may inadvertently enter the country without authorization, also known as low-level presence.

The ILSI Research Foundation has published monographs which provide a comprehensive review of food safety information and data for each of four novel proteins found in some genetically engineered plants: the EPSPS and PAT/BAR proteins that confer herbicide tolerance, and the Cry1Ac and Cry1Ab proteins that confer insect resistance.

The documents review the safety of these proteins and provide links to publications, regulatory dossiers and decision documents.

Safety Assessment of Food Derived from Modern Biotechnology (IFBiC)

From 1997-2013, the ILSI International Food Biotechnology Committee (IFBiC) served as a biotechnology resource that aided science-based decision-making in food and feed crop safety assessments. IFBiC’s core programs on harmonization, outreach, and education addressed issues related to the development, distribution, and safety of foods and feed developed through modern biotechnology. Click on the links below to learn more.

A Look at Product Development with Genetically Modified Crops: Examples from Maize

Plant breeding for crop genetic improvement involves the cycle of creating genetic diversity and exploiting that diversity to derive an improved cultivar with outstanding performance for specific traits of interest. This article contains proceedings from the 2012 IFBiC Plant Compositional Analysis Workshop.

Read more

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