Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP)

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The Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) is a non-statutory, independent body of scientific experts that advises the Food Standards Agency on any matters relating to novel foods (including genetically modified foods) and novel processes (including food irradiation).

The Committee carries out safety assessments of any novel food or process submitted for approval under the EC novel food regulation. Until April 2004 the scope of this regulation included all foods produced using genetically modified organisms. However, GM foods are now subject to approval under a separate regulation. Approval of GM foods now involves centralised risk assessments, which are the responsibility of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Nevertheless, the Committee still has a role in advising the Food Standards Agency on GM foods - for example by contributing to EFSA's risk assessments or by advising the Agency on other GM issues.

The ACNFP is supported in its work by a secretariat provided by the Food Standards Agency. The secretariat has scientific expertise that enables them to provide Members with comprehensive background information and briefing papers that inform the decision-making processes of the Committee. As well as formal meetings, the Committee organises workshops on specific topics related to its remit.

The reports of the ACNFP's evaluations and the minutes of the Committee's meetings are published on this site. The ACNFP also publishes an annual report which explains the work the Committee has undertaken during the reporting year and provides a full list of the Committee's Members and any interests that they might have.

News

Views sought on chia seeds

A company has asked the FSA's expert advisers on novel foods to consider an application for chia seeds to be approved for use in the European Union (EU) under the simplified approval procedure. Views are wanted on the independent expert committee’s draft opinion.