National research projects

Research projects on co-existence and traceability

For the development of legislation, four studies have provided the basic data. Since there were no field trials with GMOs in Slovenia, all studies are only on a theoretical basis. Three of these were financed by the national government, and one by the EU. Further projects and studies represent the basis for national co-existence measures.

The first study focused on the possibility and needs of growing Bt maize in Slovenia and was conducted by the Department of Agronomy (Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Ljubljana). The conclusion was that there are few regions where Bt maize could be grown but, at the moment, there is no need to grow Bt maize in Slovenia.

An overview of existing agricultural principles in Slovenia, of legislation on GMOs in Slovenia and the EU, of labelling, traceability and detection of GMOs, and of economic aspects of co-existence was developed in the second study, which was conducted by the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia.

The third study was financed by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning and was conducted, in the first part, by the National Institute of Biology. It produced a comprehensive survey of available literature, scientific background, trial results, legislation, and experiences from other countries. In the second part of this study, conducted by the Department of Agronomy (Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Ljubljana), the possibilities and the financial frame of establishing a national gene resource register were addressed.

The study funded by the EU was conducted by national, non-governmental organisations, and focused on identifying the extent of potential conflict between GMO growers and non-GMO growers. It took the current agricultural situation in Slovenia into account, based on actual geographical data from selected national regions.

In order to introduce national coexistence measures further projects and studies were done, such as Coexistence and biodiversity preservation in agriculture (agrobiodiversity): specific technologies of land use and conservation of crops (Agricultural Institute of Slovenia), Traceability of GM crops for food and feed (Agricultural Institute of Slovenia) and Harmonization of technologies for traceability of GMOs in agriculture and food production and their coexistence with conventional and organic farming (Agricultural Institute of Slovenia and National Institute of Biology).

During the project on protection from unintended release of GMOs and other biological agents (phytopathogenes) into the environment in Slovenia critical points were identified and emergency measures were foreseen. Additional screening methods for detection were developed. The project was led by the National Institute of Biology in cooperation with Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, Slovenian Institute for Hop Growing and the Brewing Industry and Biotechnical Faculty.

Regional Co-extra reporter /rapporteur:
  • Dr. Mojca Milavec
    National institute of biology, Department of biotechnology and systems biology
    Vecna pot 111, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Phone: +386 1 42 33 388
    Fax: +386 1 25 73 847

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