Consumer interest in the origin and quality of food has been on the rise in recent years. Suppliers and regulators have responded by providing consumers with more information to expand their freedom of choice, even if it means added expense. With the EU's new demands to segregate and label GM food and feed now in place, stakeholders need to know how the new requirements will affect their bottom line.
Co-existence on the farm is just the beginning for providing consumers with the choice they desire. Foods have a long way to go between the farm and the final product. Researchers need to examine both technical and legal aspects of how foods are shipped, stored, handled, and processed to keep unintended mixing at a minimum.
Pollen can drift from fields of GM crops and pollinate conventional crops in other fields. When this occurs, nearby farmers no longer may be able to sell their crops at non-GM prices. Producers need to have access to proven methods of preventing the unwanted spread of GM material on farms.
The most direct way to enforce labelling and traceability is to check goods to see if they contain GMOs. Methods exist for detecting the presence of specific GMOs, but finding their exact quantities remains a technical challenge. With legal and economic consequences on the line, getting reliable measurements is crucial.