The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) today made public almost all supporting documents and data submitted by Monsanto for the authorization in 2003 of its genetically modified maize (corn) NK603. The data were released alongside the announcement by the EFSA that it intends to embark on a broad transparency initiative designed to make data from its risk assessments more available to the broad scientific community and other interested parties.
The move is consistent with the recommendations of an external evaluation of the EFSA by Ernst & Young last September, which called on the EFSA to increase transparency over how it reached its decisions on applications. James Ramsay, a spokesman for the EFSA, which is based in Parma, Italy, says that the plan to release more data in the future is still in the “very early stages” and that a final scheme will be announced after further discussion with stakeholders. The EFSA announcement follows a similar move by the European Medicines Agency, which this year will make public all clinical-trial data it gets from industry as part of product registration.