A working group for an international task force on standards made from genetically modified organisms started its second meeting on Monday in Tokyo to discuss general principles and guidelines for assessing the risks of such foods, the Japan Times reported this week. About 60 representatives from 19 countries took part in the meeting of the working group for the Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Codex Task Force on Foods Derived from Biotechnology, which will continue until today. The working group is expected to submit a report to the task force's second session to be held next March in Japan. The task force, a body under the 165-member Codex Alimentarius Commission jointly set up by the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agricultural Organisation, aims to draw up scientific safety standards for GMO foodstuffs by 2003. The standards will be treated by the World Trade Organisation as the de facto international criteria and would influence industries related to GMO foods, the paper continued.