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Control of GMO Content in Seed and Feed

Possibilities and limitations

image of Control of GMO Content in Seed and Feed

Great efforts are made to develop and validate methods of analysis of GMO contents in seed, food and feed in order to be able to comply with the new EU regulations on genetically modified food and feed and on traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms. This report describes some of the current possibilities and limitations regarding analysis of GM contents in seed and feed. Analysis for GMO contents in seed and feed is demanded by, e.g., the existence of labelling regulations, the need to control the presence of non-approved GMOs, and the need to monitor the effectiveness of regulations on co-existence of genetically modified, conventional and organic crops. A central issue is the possibilities - or maybe rather the lacking possibilities - for making precise measurements of low GMO contents. This is a problem of special importance when low thresholds for labelling of GMO content are established in various pieces of legislation. In a special section the results of a small GMO ring analysis of soybean, maize and oilseed rape samples are presented. The final part of the report contains an overview of the current GMO analysis situation regarding seed and feed in the individual Nordic countries. In addition, results of GMO controls in the respective countries from the period 2001-2003 are presented here.

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Thresholds and labelling regulations

In the EU the labelling regulations have recently been changed. With the entering into force of the Novel Foods Regulation in 1997 (Regulation (EC) 258/97 on Novel Foods and Novel Food Ingredients) genetically modified foods had to be labelled. Regulation (EC) 49/2000 introduced a 1 % threshold for the adventitious presence of DNA or protein (per ingredient) in conventional food resulting from genetic modification below which labelling was not required. With the entering into force of Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed the labelling threshold for GMO content in food is lowered to 0.9 %. The same threshold will apply for feed. Until then there was no specific regulation on approval or labelling of genetically modified feed.

English

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