The European Union Reference Laboratory for Genetically Modified Food and Feed (EURL GMFF), accredited under ISO/IEC 17043, organised a comparative testing (CT) round for National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) to support the official controls on food and feed in line with Regulation (EC) No 882/2004. Other official control laboratories were allowed to participate on a voluntary basis.
Two test items were distributed: a rapeseed cake material spiked with oilseed rape GM events 73496 and GT73 (Test Item 1, T1) and a feed sample composed of soybean flour containing soybean event MON89788 (Test Item 2, T2). Participants were required to screen T1 and T2 for the presence of three GM oilseed rape events and three GM soybean events, respectively, and quantify those events identified. The results were to be reported in GM mass/mass %.
Eighty-one participants from 39 countries participated to this CT round, including 49 NRLs, of which 32 are designated in line with Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 (NRL/882) and 17 are nominated in Regulation (EU) No 120/2014 to support the EURL GMFF on method validation (NRL/120).
The qualitative results, i.e. the correct identification of the GM events, were evaluated and scored correct or incorrect. The quantitative results were compared to the consensus value of the data provided by the NRLs determined by robust statistics. A z-score was calculated and scored unsatisfactory if |z|>2.0.
The qualitative results reported by the NRLs indicated that all had identified the correct GM events in both test items. Also the quantitative results were overall satisfactorily.
A total of 20 laboratories obtained an unsatisfactory result for the quantification of one or more GM events, including 7 out of the 32 NRL/882 and 5 out of the 17 NRL/120. Follow-up actions will be organised for the NRLs with an unsatisfactory outcome for one or more GM events in this CT round.
The performance for event-specific quantification could not be evaluated for those participants that had not reported a quantitative result.