Assessing genetic interference in the field

SMAC Advisor stands for SIGMEA MAize Coexistence, denoting that the software was developed in the European SIGMEA project. This software provides advice to users who wish to assess the achievable level of co-existence between GM and non GM-maize. This assessment is based on simulation results as well as on rules which have been provided by experts. First, input from the user describes the situation in terms of field layout, meteorological conditions, type and characteristics of the seeds, used machinery and more. On this basis, the DSS estimates the GMO content in the harvest of neighbouring fields due to adventitious presence in the grown seeds, and gives one of four recommendations:

  • Green: co-existence possible
  • Red: co-existence disallowed
  • Yellow: probably allowed, but proceed with a more detailed assessment
  • Orange: probably disallowed, but might be achieved by some changes, such as a different type of seed

The decision-maker may then explore other options by assessing the effect of changes and ask questions, such as, “What if I use different seeds?”, “What if I don’t share the machine?” or “What if I increase the distance to conventional fields?”.