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Rev Sci Tech. 2005 Apr;24(1):61-74.

The safety assessment of foods from transgenic and cloned animals using the comparative approach.

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Food Standards Australia New Zealand, P.O. Box 7186, Canberra BC, ACT 2610, Australia.


The comparative approach to food safety assessment is based on the idea that the safety of a new food can largely be determined by its comparison to the benchmark of commonly consumed foods already in the food supply (also called the 'conventional counterpart'). Any differences between the new food and its conventional counterpart are evaluated to determine their relevance to human health and safety. In this way it is possible to conclude whether a new food is 'as safe as' conventional food already in the food supply. This approach, first developed primarily for use in the safety assessment of food from transgenic plants, is now generally accepted for food from both transgenic and cloned animals as well. This article outlines the basic principles behind the comparative approach, discusses some of the potential food safety concerns associated with transgenic and cloned animals, and describes important elements of the comparative approach and how these might be applied to assessing the safety of food from animals.

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