Fears over genetically modified foods may prevail in the minds of the European consumer but recent research from the European Commission suggests that they are as safe as their non-gmo neighbours, and even safer. Since 1985 81 projects looking into GMO safety were supported involving over 400 teams from different disciplines and representing a combined Community financial contribution of about €70 million. In the report published by the European Commission on 9 October it says there are no "new risks to human health or the environment, beyond the usual uncertainties of conventional plant breeding". The research adds that "the use of more precise technology and the greater regulatory scrutiny probably make them even safer than conventional plants and foods". The research shows that no unforeseen environmental effects have shown up. It adds that any potential environmental effects "should be rapidly detected by existing monitoring systems" in case they do appear. At the initiative of the Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin for the report, a round table on GMOs (genetically modified organisms) safety research was launched this week to ensure that up-to-date knowledge accompanies the safe use of GMOs. Speaking this week during his visit to Washington where he is defending the planned EU labelling requirements for biotech foods, EU Consumer and Health Protection Commission David Byrne said, "Unless we can give EU consumers confidence in this new technology then GM is dead in Europe." The findings of the European Commission ongoing study on biotech foods will clearly be a tool to promote this confidence.