Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
A number of agricultural raw materials are now obtained from genetically modified organisms. However, consumer acceptance in Germany and the EU is still very low.
Genetic modification provides micro-organisms, plants and animals with new or altered characteristics that aim at targeted improved utilisation. The thus created genetically modified organisms (GMO) are subject to definition as per Directive 2001/18/E (Release Directive).
Examples of GMOs include:
- foodstuffs that are GMOs in themselves, e.g. soya, maize, linseed
- foodstuffs that contain GMOs, e.g. yoghurt with genetically modified micro-organisms
- foodstuffs that are manufactured using GMOs, e.g. oil from GM-rapeseed or GM-soya beans
Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 and Regulation (EC) 1830/2003
The wide range of potential applications of genetic engineering and the worldwide increase of cultivation of genetically modified plants have resulted in the establishment of comprehensive regulations at EC level governing the approval and extended GMO labelling, including Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 (on genetically modified food and feed - placing on the market) and Regulation (EC) 1830/2003 (concerning the traceability and labelling). The various EC regulations and guidelines are augmented by national law.
According to Regulation (EC) 1829/2003, foodstuffs, food additives and feedstuffs that contain random or technically unavoidable traces of GMOs or products manufactured from GMOs of up to 0.9% (threshold) are exempt from the labelling requirements. This threshold applies within the EC for approved GMOs in terms of the foodstuff or, in the case of foods containing several ingredients, the respective ingredient.
Safety through PCR (polymerase chain reaction)
The testing to ensure adherence to statutory regulations regarding the presence of GMOs, their approval and correct labelling is carried out using modern moleculobiological methods of analysis, mainly different PCR (polymerase chain reaction) techniques, which provide a high degree of analytical safety due to their sensitivity and selectivity.
WESSLING offers you a range of different moleculobiological analyses for screening as well as the specific verification and quantification of GMO percentages in food and feedstuffs. These include:
- screening for the general detection of GMOs, for example, 35S and FMV promoter, NOS terminator
- qualitative detection procedures, for example, maize (Bt11, Bt176, Mon810), soya (RR) and many others
- quantitative detection procedures, for example, maize, soya and many others
Our accreditation as per DIN EN ISO 17025 ensures you of global recognition of our results.
A regulation for the voluntary labelling of foodstuffs with the logo 'Ohne Gentechnik' (GMO-free) was introduced in 2008 to provide consumers with more clarity about products. This label was introduced by the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL).
The logo is awarded via the Verband Lebensmittel ohne Gentechnik e.V. (VLOG - Association Food without Genetic Engineering) on the basis of the BMEL's stipulations and strict criteria. The following conditions must be met:
- constituents from GM-plants are not permissible in foodstuffs
- random or technically unavoidable traces are not tolerated in foodstuffs
- food additives, vitamins, amino acids and aromas that were manufactured by using GM-micro-organisms must not be present in the foodstuff
- GM-enzymes must not be used in the processing of foodstuffs