Working Group

ACNFP Subcommittee on products of genetic technologies destined for food and feed purposes – Terms of Reference

Last updated: 27 September 2023

ACNFP_PGT Terms of Reference

The ACNFP is aware of new developments in the field of genetic technologies used in the production of food and feed, and the relevance of the Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill introduced to Parliament in May 2022. Given the likely importance and potential complexity of the issues involved, an ACNFP Subcommittee is established with the following Terms of Reference.


To report to the Advisory Committee on Novel Food & Processes (ACNFP) and advise the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland on any matters relating to products of genetic technology destined for food and feed purposes, including products from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and Precision-Bred Organisms (PBO), having regard where appropriate to the views of relevant expert bodies.

Strong links will be maintained between the Subcommittee and the Advisory Committee on Release to the Environment (ACRE) to strengthen the coherence of the work between the two committees involved in the authorisation of GMO and PBO products.

A definition of ‘precision breeding’ and PBO can be found on legislation gov - precision breeding.

Terms of Reference

  • Conduct risk assessments of Genetically Modified (GM) foods and feed under UK legislation (EU retained law).
  • Provide expert technical scientific advice on issues relating to GM applications including more complex application amendments, for example, extension of scope to include additional species within an authorisation.
  • Advise on the implications from a scientific point of view of changes in wider GM legislative reform.
  • Develop technical guidance for the scientific risk assessments of foods and feed derived from PBOs.
  • Develop guidance for applicants submitting application dossiers for the authorisation of food and feed derived from PBOs to be assessed by the FSA.
  • Highlight key research or surveillance gaps in relation to bringing PBO to the food/feed market and identify those areas which are considered a priority.


The ACNFP-Products of Genetic Technology (PGT) Subcommittee will be given mandates by the FSA via the ACNFP to perform work in relation to the ToR above. The ACNFP-PGT Subcommittee will report back to the ACNFP on its work programme, discussions, outputs and recommendations. It is expected there will be a standing update item on the ACNFP meeting agenda. The ACNFP will be responsible for delivering the work of the PGT Subcommittee to the FSA in the most transparent way possible. Therefore, all outputs and any technical guidance produced by the sub-committee will be reviewed by the ACNFP at suitable points in development. An annual report on all that has been done in the subgroup will be produced.


The ACNFP-PGT sub-committee is composed of a number of experts from the main ACNFP Committee, covering a range of scientific disciplines, including a lay representative and an ACRE representative, and these can be supplemented with the specific expertise of co-opted members from the register of specialists. The Chair of the PGT Subcommittee will lead on recruiting or co-opting the membership of the Subcommittee.

Ways of working

A member of the ACNFP secretariat will be in attendance and provide administrative support to the Subcommittee as well as a communication channel with the ACNFP. The Chair of the PGT Subcommittee and Chair of the ACNFP will work together in making sure all members of the ACNFP and the Subcommittee are aware of the work programme and all matters arising, and that the ACNFP have the opportunity to review and advise on all matters arising in a timely, transparent and relevant way. The Chair of the PGT sub-committee will lead on delivering all relevant work to deadlines agreed with the ACNFP.