GMO Testing - General Context
A Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These include beet, cotton, maize, rapeseed, and soybean. Many countries have enacted laws to restrict the levels of GMOs in feed and food products. In Europe, several Directives and Regulations regulate GMOs with respect to their release into the environment, labelling, traceability, and marketing. (Directive no. 2001/18/EC; Regulation no. 1829/2003 and Regulation no. 1830/2003).
In Europe, many GMO events are authorized and marketed. The cultivation of GMOs in Europe is extremely limited, with only Portugal and Spain allowing a limited cultivation of GMO event MON 810 maize. Nevertheless, it does not mean that countries are GMO-free because they do not grow GMO crops! Authorized GMOs are marketed and will end up in feed, food, as well as in other types of products. As an example: in Europe, around 90% of the soy used as feed is genetically modified. This is because the large majority (80-90%) of imported soybean comes from countries such as Brazil, Canada, and the USA. These countries are characterized by the highest percentage of growing GMOs.
The label of genetically modified feed and food must clearly indicate the presence of GMOs when they exceed 0.9% (w/w). When GMOs are below 0,9% (w/w) there is no need to indicate their presence on the label, provided that this presence is technically unavoidable.
The most appropriate technique for GMO detection tests for the specific presence of the GMO-event DNA sequence. DNA is a stable molecule that can be isolated from highly processed products. To date PCR is the gold standard for GMO testing. Real-time PCR allows for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of GMO events.
CellMade Laboratories develops and improves molecular biology assays for the detection of (new) GMO events. CellMade Laboratories is neither for, nor against GMO containing products. CellMade Laboratories’ mission in the field of GMO detection is to continue the development of rapid screening assays to help feed and food producers to correctly label their products.