In August, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published its first guidelines for growing genetically modified (GM) plants for purposes other than food, such as producing drugs, industrial enzymes, raw materials for biofuels and phytoremediation. As these types of GM plants contain bioactive substances, the guidance addresses the possibility of accidental ingestion by humans, animals or wildlife. Applicants who intend to grow them commercially must submit a risk dossier to Parma, Italy–based EFSA, as well as a description of how they would confine plants under every conceivable condition, so errant genes cannot mix with other plants or escape through sewage or drainage. “We found that existing guidance documents for food and feed users were excellent ones,” says Joachim Schiemann, former member of an EFSA panel on GM organisms. “The guidelines are generic, but there is a step-by-step analysis and case-by-case approach depending on the objective of the crop,” said Agnes Ricroch, researcher at the University of Orsay in Paris. Ricroch praised the guidelines for considering the risk of exposure to humans, animals and other plants. “It asks the applicant to imagine the worst case,” says Ricroch. “It is very important, because the companies should think about a Plan B.”