Proving the presence of a GMO in a sample
Suitable detection methods for GMOs are essential for ensuring compliance with traceability regulations. The standard tool for detecting GMOs is the PCR technique, a biochemical approach in which, when part of the sequence is known, an entire DNA sequence can be amplified.
Currently, this method is limited by several factors: it does not work when the transgenic DNA present is below a particular threshold; it can only detect one GMO at a time; and it is only suitable for known and approved GMOs.
Analysis of the quantity of a GMO is also important, since labelling is only required above a share of 0.9 percent. Only few laboratories have been certified for conducting such analyses.
DNA which has degraded into tiny fragments, such as in oils or in other heavily processed foods, cannot be traced to a transgene using current methods.