A risk-based classification scheme for genetically modified foods III: Evaluation using a panel of reference foods

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This paper presents an exploratory evaluation of four functional components of a proposed risk-based classification scheme (RBCS) for crop-derived genetically modified (GM) foods in a concordance study. Two independent raters assigned concern levels to 20 reference GM foods using a rating form based on the proposed RBCS. The four components of evaluation were: (1) degree of concordance, (2) distribution across concern levels, (3) discriminating ability of the scheme, and (4) ease of use. At least one of the 20 reference foods was assigned to each of the possible concern levels, demonstrating the ability of the scheme to identify GM foods of different concern with respect to potential health risk. There was reasonably good concordance between the two raters for the three separate parts of the RBCS. The raters agreed that the criteria in the scheme were sufficiently clear in discriminating reference foods into different concern levels, and that with some experience, the scheme was reasonably easy to use. Specific issues and suggestions for improvements identified in the concordance study are discussed.

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