Co-Extra Newsletter 5 (14 January, 2008)

  • Invitation to the Co-Extra Open Session on 7 February, 2008 in York (UK)
  • Research Live: The Dual Chip
  • Research Live: Why is there a need for new and fast DNA detection methods?
  • Workshop on risk and cost benefit analysis of traceability in the agri-food chain (13-14
  • December, 2007): Presentations now are available online
  • Webtip of the month

>> Invitation to the Co-Extra Open Session on 7 February, 2008 in York (UK)

To support the scientific base of the technical and legal measures that ensure co-existence and traceability of GM and non-GM product lines, the EU Commission is funding the projects Co-Extra, Sigmea and Transcontainer. The researchers participating in these projects invite you to explore their views and results.

Please note that registration will be closed by 18. January 2008.

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>> Research Live: The Dual Chip

In current approaches to GMO detection, most laboratories test their food and feed products with methods that do not allow the broad screening of samples for GM crops. An associated major problem increasingly is becoming visible: the number of GM crops worldwide constantly is rising and a corresponding increase of approved and unapproved GMOs in the food and feed chain must be expected. Consequently, there is an obvious need for screening tools that allow the simultaneous detection of different GMOs in a sample in one step. In the course of the Co-Extra project, a new and fast DNA micro-array has been developed and validated.

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>> Research Live: Why is there a need for new and fast DNA detection methods?

"We are on a threshold": Co-Extra spoke with Klaus Mittendorf from Eppendorf Array Technologies about the new DualChip GMO.

Read the interview


>> Workshop on risk and cost benefit analysis of traceability in the agri-food chain (13-14 December 2007): Presentations now are available online

Quantitative cost benefit analyses urgently are needed to provide the food and feed industry with independent information on the relative merits of investing in "state of the art" tracing systems. Such information is of particular interest to small and mid-sized enterprises.

Organised as a brainstorming session, the workshop was hosted by the JRC in Ispra (Italy), in association with the projects Co-Extra (coexistence of GM and non-GM supply chains) and TRACE (food traceability) of the EU 6th Framework Programme.

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>> Webtip of the Month: GMO detection training courses of The European Commission's Joint Research Centre

The European Commission (Joint Research Centre, Biotechnology and GMOs Unit) and the World Health Organisation (WHO Food Safety Programme in Europe) have collaborated since 2000 in the organisation of training courses on detection techniques for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in foods.

The scope of the training courses is to assist the staff of control laboratories to become accustomed with molecular detection techniques. Additionally, courses are aimed at helping personnel to comply with worldwide regulatory acts in the field of biotechnology by adapting their facilities and work programmes to include analyses. The courses are intended to teach molecular detection techniques to laboratory personnel with good levels of analytical knowledge.

On the website, you can retrieve the newest version of the training course manual ("The Analysis of Food Samples for the Presence of Genetically Modified Organisms") and more information on a multimedia, interactive training aid on DVD. The DVD may be used to supplement or complement the training courses given on-site.

Biotechnology and GMOs Unit's training website