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Main research question/goal
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that do not have approval for cultivation or use in nutrition/feed within the EU can accidentally enter the food or feed chain. It is therefore of pressing importance to have techniques available to detect unauthorized GMOs (UGM). The aim of this project is (1) to develop an integrated approach for UGM detection in food and feed and (2) to fine-tune a database with extensive information usable for the risk evaluation of a detected UGM. This research fits within the assignment of the national reference laboratory for GMOs (of which ILVO is part) to implement the EU regulation.

Research approach
The project consists of 3 work packages. In the first work package we (1) create an inventory of all documentation on UGM crops and (2) collect molecular information for each of these UGMs. In the second work package, fast and accurate techniques are developed to detect these UGMs. These techniques are primarily based on DNA walking and the screening approach. In work package 3, we perform comprehensive testing and validation of the newly developed methods, to be able to use them on a routine basis. Included are sensitivity, specificity, and applicability testing in (severely) processed products of plant origin.

The database set up by the researchers is not only useful within the project itself, but also for risk assessment in the area of biosafety of UGMs. Scientific output includes peer-reviewed scientific papers, popularized texts and papers, oral and poster presentations and at least one PhD thesis.
Effective start/end date1/03/1230/04/16

ID: 4157072