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Towards metrologically traceable and comparable results in GM quantification


The GM content in a food or feed product produced from or containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) has to be expressed in Europe in the form of a GM mass fraction. However, the most widely used quantification methods, based on PCR, are basically counting PCR-amplifiable DNA fragments in a sample extract. This paper outlines the requirements for obtaining comparable measurement results which are fit for regulatory decision-making. It introduces the concept of a reference measurement system which enables GMO analysis laboratories to relate their results to a universally accessible reference, thus establishing metrological traceability to a unique reference point. The conversion factors required for transforming data from one measurement unit into the other have to carry a minimum uncertainty and are anchored to specified certified reference materials. The establishment of such conversion factors and related calibration approaches to achieve comparable GM quantification results are sketched.