Project Summary

Co-Extra aims at
  • developing comprehensive tools and methodologies and integrate them along with existing ones into embedded decision-support systems aimed at enabling co-existence between GM and non GM (conventional and organic) crops;
  • tracing of genetically modified organism (GMO) materials and derived products, along the food and feed chains;
  • anticipating the future expansion of GMOs in both quantitative as well as qualitative terms.

Co-Extra studies and validates biological containment methods and model supply chain organisations and provides practical tools and methods for implementing co-existence. In parallel, Co-Extra designs and integrates GMO detection tools, develops sampling plans, and elaborates new techniques to meet the challenges raised by increased demands for cost effective multiplex methods to detect as yet unapproved or unexamined GMOs (e.g. with stacked genes). Co-Extra also studies and proposes the most appropriate information structure, content and flow management for ensuring reliable and cost-effective documentary traceability. All of the methods and tools that are studied and developed are assessed not only from the technical point of view but also with regard to economic and legal aspects. In parallel, to promote harmonisation of co-existence and traceability practices around the world, Co-Extra surveys the GMO-related legal regimes and practices that exist in and beyond the EU. Stakeholders have been involved in the project from the start through the dialogue platform, editorial offices, focus groups, national relays, etc.

Co-Extra outcomes will contribute to reinforcing consumers’ confidence in labelling claims and therefore EU products at large. By helping economic stakeholders to meet consumers’ requirements for reliable choices, Co-Extra will improve European competitiveness. Co-Extra outcomes will be proposed to standardisation after validation. Dissemination activities will largely benefit from the strong commitment of the European Network of GMO Laboratories.