Abstract Trichoderma reesei has a long history of safe use in industrial-scale enzyme production. Applications of cellulases and xylanases produced by this fungus are found in food, animal feed, pharmaceutical, textile and pulp and paper industries. T. reesei is non-pathogenic for man and it has been shown not to produce fungal toxins or antibiotics under conditions used for enzyme production. During recent years genetic engineering techniques have also been used to improve the industrial production strains of T. reesei and, in addition, considerable experience of safe use of recombinant T. reesei strains in industrial scale has accumulated. Thus, T. reesei can be generally considered not only a safe production organism of its natural enzymes but also a safe host for other harmless gene products.