Biosafety - BioTrack

Safety of novel foods and feeds and on the harmonisation of regulatory oversight in biotechnology


The OECD work on biosafety and food/feed safety assessment aims to assist countries evaluating the potential risks of transgenic products, ensure high safety standards, and foster mutual understanding of relevant regulations. The brochure presents the activities of the "Working Group on the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds” and the "Working Group on Harmonisation of Regulatory Oversight in Biotechnology".

What's new

Safflower consensus document

The OECD releases a Consensus Document on SAFFLOWER biology (Carthamus tinctorius).

Dryland oilseed crop traditionally used for food and textile dyes, SAFFLOWER is now mostly cultivated for oil production. This consensus document provides science-based key insights for the regulatory assessment of the environmental safety of safflower genetically-engineered varieties: taxonomy, centres of origin, cultivation, reproductive biology, genetics, hybridisation and introgression, and ecology. Annexes present the safflower common pests and pathogens, and current biotechnology developments. Novel varieties are developed for increased oleic acid content, production of bovine pro-chymosin enzyme, and glufosinate tolerance.



Both programmes aim to contribute to the assessment of the safety of products derived from modern biotechnology, a challenging issue as genetically engineered crops are increasingly cultivated worldwide and as human foods and animal feeds derived from such crops are marketed.

The OECD work deals also with plants, trees, animals or microorganisms where modern biotechnology is applied.

Participating countries and observers work together to harmonise approaches and share information used in risk/safety assessment.

The "consensus documents” constitute the main output of the work, as practical and science-based tools relevant to risk/safety assessors and regulators:


OECD at the 2016 convention on biological diversity (COP13)




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