Technical aspects of introducing GMOs into supply chains


When GMOs enter the picture, stakeholders in the food and feed supply chain are faced with decisions and changes. This project aims to predict exactly what kinds of challenges those will be. While other tasks are investigating economic and legal outcomes, this task is looking into technical aspects of co-existence and traceability in food and feed supply chains. Technical solutions for keeping GMOs and non GM products separated will be researched for feasibility and prepared for implementation. In particular, researchers are looking for “hot spots”, or points in production that pose a high risk for unwanted mixing. Appropriate ways of addressing them are passed along to stakeholders.


 “Hot spots” along the production chain are primarily analysed by simulations. Simulations use models developed from existing, well studied supply chains by other Co-Extra researchers. These simulation models give different output depending on possible GMO adoption rates and supply chain segregation scenarios.

Building upon the simulation models, researchers test various technical options for enabling co-existence. For example, it may make more sense for suppliers, processors, and retailers to enter into agreements based on the GMO status of their products. Various scenarios based upon different co-existence measures are assessed for their efficiency, feasibility, and acceptability. Getting feedback from stakeholders is an essential part of this task.


Work on the simulation model is still on-going. Nonetheless, first simulation results show that chain organization, from the upstream producers to the downstream stakeholders, plays a crucial role in maintaining or improving the non-GM product compliance with the labelling threshold. In addition, model should allow comparing various strategies.

More information:

Modelling coexistence between GM and non-GM within supply chains

Public Deliverables of the Co-Extra project


Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), France
Central Science Laboratory (CSL) Defra, United Kingdom
Frauenhofer Gesellschaft zur Angewandten Forschung (FhG-IVV), Germany
Agricultural Institute of Slovenia (KIS), Slovenia
Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (INTA), Argentina
Paraná Institute of Technology (Tecpar), Brasil