GMO-related analyses

Contact: Isabel Taverniers

Food and feed samples are analyzed for the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs; “screening”), the identity of GMOs (“identification”) as well as the relative content of the GM events per ingredient (“quantification”).

GMO analyses are divided in three groups depending on the request:

• In a screening PCR, we search for common, regulatory DNA sequences in GMOs, such as the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus promotor 35S (p-35S), the Agrobacterium tumefaciens nopaline synthase terminator (t-NOS), and the Figwort Mosaic Virus promotor 35S (p-FMV). This is done in combination with a detection of one or more plant species (species-specific PCR).

• If one or more of the species-specific DNA targets and/or GMO screening elements are positive, then qualitative analysis is done to look for the presence of EU-authorized GMOs, depending on the crop that was detected (identification PCR).

• Finally, the individually identified GMO events are quantified (quantitative PCR) in order to determine whether or not the sample conforms with the regulations (mandatory labeling threshold of 0.9% GMO per crop of EU authorized events).

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