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Reliable, standardised, specific, quantitative detection
of genetically modified food
QPCRGMOFOOD

Contract number : QLK1-1999-01301
Contract type : Shared Cost Project
Total cost : € 3.372.467
EC contribution : € 1.686.234
Starting date : 1/02/2000
Duration : 36 Months
Scientific Officer : Barend Verachtert
Project website :
http://www.entransfood.com
Coordinator
Dr Arne Holst-Jensen
National Veterinary Institute
Department of Feed and Food Hygiene
Section of Food and Feed Microbiology
Ullevålsveien 68
0033 Oslo
Norway
Tel.: +47 22597473
Fax: +47 22597475
E-mail: arne.holst-jensen @ vetinst.no
Background

Future legislation in EU involves threshold values for labelling of genetically modified food, necessitating the development of quantitative GMO detection methods. Available techniques cannot distinguish between or quantify approved and non-approved GMOs (defined by transformation events).Quantification must rely on detection of the DNA sequence of the transformation junction region, which for most GMOs are unavailable and will be sequenced by us. Based on the junction sequences, single and multiplex qualitative and quantitative detection assays will be developed. Species specific non-modified reference genes with known, conserved copy numbers that can be amplified together with the GMO junction region will be identified, and will give the 100% of the ingredient (plant species) for food labelling. The DNA-extraction technique will be improved, and its limitations defined. All techniques will be validated in ring-trials.

Objectives

Primary objectives:

  • Develop reliable and transformation-event-specific tests for qualitative and quantitative detection of genetic modifications in food.
  • Develop reliable and transformation-event-specific multiplex tests for determination of the diversity of genetic modifications in food.
  • Investigate how improved methods for detection of genetically modified foods will influence consumer confidence in food security and trust in science and risk regulators.

Specific goals:

  • Define the domain of application of a standard DNA extraction procedure for complex and processed food (quality and yield).
  • Design species-specific reference-gene primer-probe sets for qualitative and quantitative PCR amplification and detection.
  • DNA sequence characterisation of the GMOs' junction regions (insertion site and insert) for each of at least twelve GMOs.
  • Design GMO-transformation-specific primer-probe sets for qualitative and quantitative PCR amplification and detection for each of the at least twelve GMOs.
  • Test qualitative performance of the GMO-transformation-specific and reference-gene-specific primer-probe sets
  • on single reference materials in single primer-probe assays.
  • on single reference materials in multiplex primer-probe assays.
  • on mixed reference materials in single primer-probe assays.
  • on mixed reference materials in multiplex primer-probe assays.
  • Test quantitative performance of the GMO-transformation-specific/reference-gene-specific primer-probe sets
  • on single reference materials in single primer-probe assays.
  • on mixed reference materials in single primer-probe assays.
  • Based on the tests listed above, the best primer-probe sets for multiplex qualitative, and for specific quantitative detection of genetic modifications in food are selected and validated in ring-trials.
  • Investigate how improved methods for detection of genetically modified foods will influence consumer confidence in food security and trust in science and risk regulators.
(expected) Results and achievements
  • Identification of the domain of application and matrix-limitations for a standard DNA extraction protocol.
  • Identification and characterisation of suitable taxon-specific reference genes, and development of reference gene specific primer-probe sets for qualitative and quantitative PCR amplification and detection (that will define the 100 % of the ingredient).
  • Sequence characterisation of transformation events (obtain DNA sequence of junction regions).
  • Development, validation through ring-trials and submission of proposed European standards for PCR based transformation event specific qualitative detection of at least 12 GMOs in single and multiplex assays.
  • Development, validation through ring-trials, and submission of proposed European standards for PCR based transformation event specific quantitative detection of at least 12 GMOs.
  • A report providing information about the impact of tests to improve traceability of genetically modified foods on consumer confidence.

In response to the European Council Directive 90/220/EEC concerning the intentional dissemination of genetically modified organisms to the environment, the European parliament's and the European Council's "Novel Food" Regulation 258/97/EC concerning new food products and ingredients, and the European parliament's and the European Council's Regulation 1139/98/EC covering the mandatory labelling of some food products produced from genetically modified organisms, reliable, specific, qualitative and quantitative standard methods for the detection of genetically modified organisms or their derivatives in food are urgently needed by the industry, European and National authorities, and consumer groups. A major objective of the project will be to provide methods which can be converted into such European standards. The National authorities, and the food industry will obtain information about the impact of tests to improve traceability of genetically modified foods on consumer confidence, with full policy guidelines detailing recommendations for the development of communication about traceability tests, and potential differences in countries with differing attitudes towards the technology.


Partners

Norwegian Food Research Institute
Osloveien
1430 Ås
Norway
INRA
Unité de Phytopathologie et Méthodologie de la Détection
Rdlo / Route de St Cyr
78026 Versailles Cedex
France
Agricultural Research Centre Gent
Department of Plant Genetics and Breeding
Caritasstraat 21
9090 Melle
Belgium
LCC Teddington Ltd Lifesciences
Queens Road
TW11 0LY Teddington
United Kingdom
Gene-Scan GmbH
Bötzinger Straße 29 A
79111 Freiburg
Germany
Institute for Health and Consumer Protection
Via E. Fermi 1
PO Box 321
21 020 Ispra Va
Italy
Tepral-Brasseries Kronenbourg
68, Route d'Oberhausbergen
67037 Strasbourg Cedex
France
Unilever Research Laboratory
Biotechnology Department
Olivier Van Noortlaan 120
Vlaardingen
The Netherlands
Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes
Laboratoire Interrégional
Chemin du Routoir
67400 Illkirch-Graffenstaden
France
Groupe d'Etude et de Contrôle des Variétés et des Semences Biogeves
Domaine du Magneraud
PO Box 52
17700 Surgères
France
Institute of Food Research
Diet, Health & Consumer Science
Norwich Research Park, Colney
NR4 7UA Norwich
United Kingdom
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Departamento de Genética Molecular
Jordl Girona, 18-26
08034 Barcelona
Spain


Fifth Framework Programme

PDF Version

:

Volume 1 (PDF 2.9 MB)

   

Volume 2 (PDF 1.9 MB)

 

Last update

:

23-09-2003



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