Precise recognition of a GMO in a sample
It is generally possible to detect a GMO without identifying it precisely, since most GMOs have certain DNA sequences in common. However, since surveillance authorities want to know whether the detected GMOs have been approved, it is necessary to identify them.
Every application for the approval of a GMO in the EU must also supply a method for identifying this organism. Using this information, test laboratories can detect the GMO by using PCR techniques.
In addition, every GMO that receives authorisation is given a "unique identifier" consisting of nine letters and/or numbers. The first two or three characters indicate the company submitting the application, while the final six or five characters specify the respective transformation event. The last digit serves as a verifier. These identifier must be forwarded along with the GMO, and subsequent products, throughout the whole production chain.