Will the EFSA look to modify its approach in light of action on novel food in the UK?

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has stated that it is in contact with other similar agencies such as the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK, but only specified that it would not treat applications that had been approved in other jurisdictions any differently during its own assessment process.

But beyond that, it has not stated what other influence the FSA experience could have on its actions. It is in a position that could be viewed as favourable from some angles, as it currently trails the FSA in the approval timeline due to the hold placed on assessments while the question of whether CBD met the definition of a narcotic under international drug treaties was considered.

As such, it could learn from the FSA’s experiences in certain areas. For example, the EFSA has still not issued a definitive statement on the consortium approach to the production of toxicological data currently being undertaken.

Looking at the realities of the situation in the UK – where businesses are reportedly struggling to independently meet the novel food application data requirements – and then discussing with the FSA whether the consortia data it receives from applications adequately address food safety concerns could help the EFSA understand the potential realistic advantages and drawbacks of allowing such an approach in its applications.

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