We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
The JRC has published a new database, JRC GMO-Amplicons, which contains more than 240 000 DNA sequences appearing in genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It will help to verify the presence of GMOs in food, feed and environment.
JRC scientists have developed a decision support tool to optimise the detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) via computer simulation. The JRC GMO-Matrix will make the analysis of GMOs in the food chain more efficient and cost-effective.
From 3 to 5 December, the European Network of GMO Laboratories (ENGL) meets at the JRC Ispra site to discuss emerging issues related to GMO analysis but also celebrate its official 10th Anniversary.
The EU leads research in the field innovation in plant breeding, but still lags behind in patenting the resulting technologies, a JRC study reveals. The report notes that 45 % of peer-reviewed scientific research publications in the field worldwide are produced in the EU, followed by North America with 32 %. On the other hand, 65 % of the total patenting of resulting technologies is carried out by US-based institutions. Twenty six percent of patents are registered by EU-based institutions.
A new reference report published today by the JRC lists 79 reference methods for GMO analysis which have been validated according to international standards. This compendium, developed jointly by the EU Reference Laboratory for Genetically Modified Food and Feed (EU-RL GMFF) and the European Network of GMO Laboratories (ENGL), presents the technical state of the art in GMO detection methods. Each method is described in a user-friendly way, facilitating the implementation of GMO legislation by official control bodies.
Specific measures relating to storing and the application of isolation distances can help limit or avoid the co-mingling of genetically modified (GM) maize with conventional and organic maize, a report prepared by the European Coexistence Bureau (ECoB) concludes. The "Best Practice Document", published by the JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), notes that storing seeds adequately and applying spatial isolation (separation distances, buffer zones and/or discard zones) are the best ways to limit or avoid co-mingling. Alternative practices based on temporal isolation (shifting flowering times of GM and non-GM fields) are possible in several EU countries with specific climatic conditions.
Created in spring 2009 by a former JRC scientist, Plasmore is a spin-off company and a product of research at the JRC and the University of Pavia, Italy.
The number of commercialised genetically modified (GM) crops in the world is foreseen to multiply by four from about 30 today to over 120 in 2015. This is the forecast presented in the report "The global pipeline of new GM crops: implications of asynchronous approval for international trade", recently published by the JRC. It features a list of new GM crops expected to be commercialised ('in the pipeline') in various parts of the world and analyses their possible impact on international trade. The report notes that their increasing number may cause trade disruptions due to asynchronous approval.