EU Science Hub

Science updates

Aug 03 2018

JRC scientists propose most suitable analytical approaches that can serve as reference in the quantification of genetically modified food and feed ingredients and will impact harmonisation in official food control.

According to European legislation, the content of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in a food or feed product has to be expressed as a relative quantity linked to the DNA of the ingredient (biological species).

For instance: GM maize is quantified relative to the total maize content of a product.

Mar 23 2017
In close collaboration with JRC scientists, a network of German food safety authorities developed a novel method able to efficiently detect six different genetically modified soybean lines that were known, until now, to be difficult to monitor.
Feb 22 2017

The JRC, in the context of the European GMOval project, coordinated three inter-laboratory studies for the validation of qualitative methods suitable for screening for the presence of GMOs. The results are presented together with the acceptance parameters used during the in-house validation, the method transferability study and the inter-laboratory validation.

Oct 27 2016
JRC scientists developed a semi-quantitative approach that allows predicting GMO content when food and feed samples are analysed with pre-spotted plates. The statistical model was verified on data from spiked and proficiency test samples and is expected to reduce standard quantitative tests by 70%.
Sep 12 2016
JRC-scientists have investigated the factors that significantly affect the quantification of nucleic acids by digital PCR (dPCR).
The recent JRC study shows how to take advantage of the ongoing improvements in the availability of both plant genome sequences, bioinformatics tools and computing power.
Feb 02 2016

For years scientists have been working on systems to better classify organisms using genetic "barcodes", i.e. DNA sequences that are used as unique identifiers for each species and that are found at specific locations of their genomes. For plants, for example, the currently used DNA barcodes are found in the plastids, small organelles within the plant cells that carry out photosynthesis. The genome of the plastid is very small in comparison to the plant genome, which has made the identification of DNA barcodes easier.

Genetically Modified Organisms in Food. Production, Safety, Regulation and Public Health collects scientific contributions of about 100 researchers from international organisations and universities
Jan 26 2016

JRC scientists contributed with a chapter on "The European Union Reference methods database and decision supporting tool for the analysis of genetically modified organisms: GMOMETHODS and JRC GMO-Matrix".

Nov 23 2015

The JRC released a new GMO (genetically modified organism) certified reference material (CRM) to be used by GMO testing laboratories to analyse the GMO maize VCO-Ø1981-5 product in food and feeding stuff.

May 22 2015

In their recent peer-reviewed paper entitled "Genetically modified animals: options and issues for traceability and enforcement", JRC scientists provide an overview of the 75 GM-animals already existing or in advanced state of development worldwide. About half of these are designed for the food market.  The study also reviews the available methods for control and traceability in the food and feed chain.

Apr 17 2015

JRC-IRMM developed and released the first certified reference material containing a defined DNA mass concentration that can be used to calibrate fluorescence-based assays for the quantification of nucleic acids in solution.