HCB in Europe and Worlwide

Contributing to assessment of regulatory dossiers in the European Union

HCB also works within a European framework, since regulation of GMOs is determined at EU level and applies to all Member States. Besides, for some dossiers (applications for cultivation, import, etc.), the application, assessment and decision-making procedures transcend national boundaries. GMO assessment is sometimes centralised, in which case it is led by an EU agency (European Food Safety Authority or European Medicines Agency). If a decision is to be taken at the EU level, HCB is asked either to contribute to the centralised EU assessment or to give advice to the French Government for a Member State vote on EU-wide authorisation of a GMO.


Contributing to discussion of rules and methods in the EU and worldwide

As part of its assessment-related and deliberative work, HCB is an active participant in discussions on how to assess the environmental and health aspects of biotechnology as well as its socio-economic angle. It is closely involved in the continuing development of rules and methods for GMO assessment at the national, EU and international levels. HCB has thus established itself as an authority at the heart of EU and global thinking on:

  • The safety of biotechnology

HCB plays its part in developing guidelines for GMO risk assessment, whether in the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the OECD or the United Nations (Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety). HCB is also contributing to discussions on preparing strict new rules (directives and regulations) for GMOs at the EU level.

  • Socio-economic assessment of GMOs

HCB is an active participant in the European GMO Socio-Economics Bureau (ESEB) set up by the European Commission to define an EU framework for socio-economic analysis of genetically modified plants.

Last but not least, in close cooperation with its EU counterparts, HCB is closely involved in organising events intended to inform EU thinking on biotechnology. These include the 2010 HCB symposium on new technologies of genetic modification, the 2012 SynBio workshop on risk assessment challenges of synthetic biology, and the Sixth Meeting of European Advisory Committees on Biosafety (MEACB).