New publication: Highlights of GMO traceability programmes

The European Commission has financed several research and development projects on the detection and traceability of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Highlights of these programmes are presented in a  book chapter* written by John Davison (INRA) and Yves Bertheau (INRA, coordinator of the project Co-Extra).

John Davison and Yves Bertheau (INRA, Versailles)
John Davison and Yves Bertheau (INRA, Versailles)
The most important developments in this sector are described. These include the improvements and innovations that may be seen in new detection methods, as well as the enhanced efficiency and economy of current concepts. The sector also illustrates the effective cooperation between these projects and the European Network of GMO Laboratories (ENGL), which is under the chairmanship of EC Joint Research Centre's Institute for Health and Consumer Protection. The results of the EC-funded research projects and the dialogue with the Commission, catalysed by ENGL, have led to the refinement of EC legislation.

Considerable progress remains to be made in the fields of GMO sampling, unauthorized GMOs, unknown GMO, asynchronous GMO approval in different countries and legislation regarding very low level contamination by unauthorised GMOs. These problems currently are being studied in the Co-Extra project.

Main topics include:

  • Provision of detection methods for approved GMOs
  • Definition of the threshold for the adventitious presence of GMO
  • Provision of Certified Reference Material
  • GMO screening using DNA chips
  • The modular approach to GMO testing
  • Standardisation of detection methods
  • Economics of GMO traceability and detection
  • Detection of Unknown GMOs

*Food Traceability Around the World – Volume 1, 37-40.
GFTF (Global Food Traceability Forum,
Ed. Ian G. Smith and Anthony Furness
Vicariage Publications ISBN: 13: 978-0-9553707-1-7