Main research question/goal
In this project, we aim to improve existing detection methods for GMOs (e.g. real-time PCR) and develop new methods. The final goal is a more cost-efficient analytical system for traceability and monitoring of coexistence of GMOs with conventional and organic crops in the production chain. The stakeholders urgently need new and/or improved methods - methods that can give fast, on-site answers. We aim for non-quantitative methods and/or high-throughput methods such as non-destructive unloading of shiploads.
We provide all stakeholders of the food and feed chains with sampling (work package 4) and analytical (workpackages 5 and 6) methods, models and guidelines necessary for the implementation of the coexistence of GMO and non-GMO chains and their traceability. We validate the methods for the detection, identification and quantification of GMOs. We evaluate various non-PCR-based approaches for their performance in comparison with the available PCR detection methods. We bring adjustments to (and evaluate) the methods for use in onsite (fields and silos) detection, which may be of primary importance for coexistence studies. We modulate and evaluate the methods also according to the needs of the various stakeholders, especially the farmers, cooperatives, companies and inspection services.
Farmers, EU policymakers, importers, carriers, feed/food producers, retailers, consumers, analytical laboratories, users of test reports of analytical laboratories, and the operators and managers of official control bodies can all benefit from scientific-based applications of GMO detection. These applications can be useful for policymaking, developing a strategy, and developing a monitoring system. A decision support system (DSS) provides information and advice to all stakeholders to resolve GMO-related questions in supply chains. The results of the project are published in scientific journals or books. The DSS system is also available online.