GMO testing is more than just the simple detection of genetically modified organisms. Increasing planting figures, global trading routes and varying approval situations in different countries demand intelligent, tailored analysis strategies and competent consulting for the detection of genetically modified organisms in seed, food and feed.
The classic analysis strategy is based on three steps:
1. GMO Screening – Faster and Cost Efficient Detection of Multiple GMOs
GMO analysis strategies generally start with a qualitative screening, which allows for a reliable determination of whether GMO is present or not. Especially for producers who wish to market their products with a “GMO-free label” (such as the “ohne Genetechnik” label in Germany), comprehensive screening methods are essential.
2. GMO Identification – Securing the Marketability of Products
In many regions, 0% tolerances or tolerance thresholds exist for non-approved GMOs. If a GMO has no approval in one country, but is already planted in another country, this asynchronous approval situation can lead to problems in the marketability of products, which contain even traces of this GMO.
With the help of specific detection methods, non-approved GMOs can be identified or excluded. Specific qualitative methods are therefore an important aspect for verifying the marketability of raw and processed products.
3. GMO Quantification – Is Labelling Required?
Aside from the approval of genetically modified organisms, the labelling of GMO content above a certain threshold is regulated differently by country. In the EU, for example, adventitious and technically unavoidable contamination with approved GMOs up to 0.9% is exempted from labelling. GMO portions in food and feed above a threshold of 0.9% must be labelled according to the EU Regulation (EC) No. 1830/2003. With the help of quantitative GMO detection, it can be determined whether the GMO content of a product lies above or below the legal limit.
In feed, non-approved GMOs are tolerated up to a threshold of 0.1% as long as they fulfill certain requirements set out by the EU Regulation (EC) No. 619/2011. For questions such as these, quantitative analyses are the method of choice for the verification of the marketability and labelling requirements.
Eurofins offers a broad spectrum of different methods for GMO screening, GMO identification and GMO quantification. The experts at the GMO Competence Centre support customers with custom-tailored analysis strategies, which allow producers to ensure the quality of their products – from seed to raw material up until the final product.
Legal Bases and Guidelines
- Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms)
- Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (genetically modified food and feed)
- Commission Regulation (EU) No 619/2011 (GMO in feed)
- Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (traceability and labelling of GMOs)
- Gentechnik-Durchführungsgesetz (EGGenTDurchfG) (German)
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