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European network on safety assessment of genetically modified food crops
ENTRANSFOOD

Contract number : QLK1-1999-01182
Contract type : Thematic Network
Total cost : € 751.839
EC contribution : € 751.839
Starting date : 1/01/2000
Duration : 36 Months
Scientific Officer : Barend Verachtert
Project website :
http://www.entransfood.com
Coordinator
Prof. Dr Harry Kuiper
RIKILT
Food Safety and Health
Bornsesteeg 45
6708 PD Wageningen
The Netherlands
Tel.: +31-317-475463
Fax: +31-317-417717
E-mail: h.a.kuiper @ rikilt.wag-ur.nl
Background

Market introduction of genetically modified (GM) food crops in Europe has given rise to broad public concern based upon unfamiliarity with the new molecular techniques applied and the fact that the genetic material of these food plants has been altered in a manner which in nature by way of reproduction or natural recombination is not possible. Hazards of large-scale cultivation of transgenic plants and of chronic exposure of humans and animals to transgenic food are issues of intense debate.

Objectives
  • to identify key issues of the safety evaluation of genetically modified food crops, and to examine whether current research methods are adequate to characterise specific safety hazards;
  • to co-ordinate ongoing research regarding safety testing of transgenic foods in the framework of the European research program FP5;
  • to design new (in-vitro) test methodologies for safety and nutritional evaluation of whole complex foods, which are of sufficient sensitivity and specificity;
  • to address the risks of gene transfer from genetically modified organisms to the gut microflora of humans and animals;
  • to examine new strategies for the detection of genetically modified foods, which enable detection at specific threshold levels for raw materials, processed products and food ingredients;
  • to examine the fate of genetically modified raw materials and processed products throughout food production chains (tracking and tracing);
  • to develop criteria for quality assurance systems to guarantee 'non-GMO-containing' materials throughout food chains
  • to develop a communication platform of producers of GMOs, scientists involved in research and safety evaluation of GMOs, retailers, regulatory authorities and consumer groups with the scope to improve safety assessment procedures, risk management strategies and risk communication.
(expected) Results and achievements

The Thematic Network will identify proper research strategies and tools to address issues related to safety and management of transgenic food products. Participants involved in research, safety assessment and management, regulation and consumers interests will evaluate ongoing research activities in this area, discuss new approaches and establish a permanent platform for communication between the various parties involved. As a result various Working Groups will write a number of research papers and position documents. These documents will be incorporated into one position paper, which will give guidance on the various aspects mentioned above. It is important to demonstrate that the scientific challenges of safety testing of genetically modified foods can be met, while further initiatives will be taken in Europe to improve current test methodologies, using modern molecular based techniques. Agreement on safety assessment strategies for GMOs, and on issues related to risk management and risk communication will facilitate market introduction of GMOs in Europe, and therefore bring the European industry in a competitive position.


Partners

State Institute for Quality Control of Agricultural Products (RIKILT),
Wageningen,
NL

Institute of Food Safety and Toxicology
Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (VFB)
Søborg
DK
University of Newcastle
UK
Département d'Ecophysiologie Végétale et de Microbiologie CEA Cadarache (CEA-Cad)
Saint Paul Lez Durance
FR
Institute for Health and Consumer Protection
Joint Research Center of the European Commission (EC JRC IHCP)
Ispra
I

Umweltbundesamt
Wien
A
Institute of Food Research (IFR)
Norwich
UK

Unilever Research (UNILEVER)
Colworth
UK
Istituto Superiore di Sanita (ISS)
Rome
I
Laboratoire Associe INRA-CEA d'lmmuno-Allergie
Gif-sur-Yvette
F
Institute of Environmental Medicine
Karolinska Instituted (IEM)
Stockholm
S
Immunotoxicology and Moleculair Biology
TNO BIBRA Int. Ltd (BIBRA TNO)
Surrey
UK
TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute (TNO)
Zeist
NL
KEPKA Western Greece (KEPKA)
Patras
EL
The Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI)
Dundee
UK
Robert Koch Institut
Zentrum Gentechnologie (RKI)
Berlin
D
International Life Sciences Institute ILSI Europe (ILSI)
Brussels
B
Bundesinstitut für Gesundheitlichen Verbraucherschutz und Veterinärmedizin (BgVV)
Berlin
D
Aventis CropScience
Sophia Antipolis Cedex
F
Institute of Food Technology
Hohenheim University (IFT)
Suttgart
D
European Commission
Joint Research Centre
Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements
Reference Materials Unit-Ec-JRC-IRMM (EC-JRC-IRMM)
Geel
B
Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs (BEUC)
Bruxelles
B
University of Kuopio (UKU)
Kuopio
FIN
Monsanto Service International (Monsanto)
Brussels
B
Nestlé Research Centre (Nestlé)
Lausanne
CH
National Veterinary Institute (NVI)
Oslo
N
Syngenta
Cheshire
UK
Unilever Research
Vlaardingen
NL
Swiss Quality Testing Services (SQTS)
Courtepin
CH
Harvard University
Kennedy School of Government
Cambridge
USA
Swedish National Food Administration
Uppsala
S
Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University
Frederiksberg
D
Nestec SA
Vevey
CH
 


Fifth Framework Programme

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Last update

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23-09-2003



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