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GMOSeek: Development of screening methods for GMOs
Project Code: G03032
National Institute of Biology, Slovenia
In recent years, an increasing number of countries have adopted labelling policies for genetically modified (GM) food to deal with issues such as food safety, and consumers’ right of choice. In the European Union (EU), the GM Food and Feed Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 lays down labelling requirements for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and products containing GM material. This stipulates that for any food or feed product containing a GM ingredient, this must be declared on the label.
Regarding the results of the bio-informatics activities, it is recommended to set-up a website in which the GMOmatrix and the GMOseek algorithm, optimised for web interface, would be freely and constantly available to all potential users. The starting Dutch-German EUGINIUS project will generate tables similar to the GMOmatrix; this matrix adapted to the GMOseek algorithm should ensure longer term availability of the bio-informatics part of the GMOseek project. This matrix approach and its associated bio-informatics tools could also be adapted to other PCR-based analyses where screening methods are needed.
Finally, nine novel qPCR assays developed in this project have been in-house validated and one assay is close to in-house validation completion. Before these qPCR methods can be applied for routine GMO detection in enforcement laboratories, it is recommended that further experimental verification is performed to add confidence to the observed satisfactory results. Then, the methods may be tested in a small-scale group before entering a large-scale validation, or“inter-laboratory trial”, that would provide evidence of their fitness-for-purpose for GMO detection. The validated methods will then be made available to all enforcement laboratories, worldwide, to improve the experimental screening phase of GMO testing.
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