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Tracing and authentification of GMOs and derived products in the agro-food sectors

Research project CP/32 (Research action CP)


Persons :

  • Dhr.  CALLEBAUT Alfons - Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche Vétérinaire et Agrochimique (CERVA)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2001-31/12/2003
  • Dhr.  DELOOZE Marc - Centre de Recherche Agronomique - Gand (CLO)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2001-31/12/2003
  • Prof. dr.  REMACLE José - Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix (FUNDP)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2001-31/12/2003
  • M.  MOENS William - Scientific Institute of Public Health (IPH)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2001-31/12/2003
  • M.  BERBEN Gilbert - Ministère des Classes Moyennes et de l'Agriculture (MCMA)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2001-31/12/2003

Description :

Context

The present project aims at providing Belgium with the most up to date technologies for the genetically modified organism’s (GMO) tracing, authentication and quantification.
Dietary GMOs as seeds or food/feedstuffs have to be labelled. The food/feedstuffs conventionally or biologically cultivated have also to be controlled for potential GMO’s contamination.
Labelling, quantification and authentication of GMOs in food/feeddstuff should allow European authorities to encourage more civil responsibility and to insure, if necessary, enough feedback to the consumers.


Project description

Objectives

The project aims to clarify the different scientific and technical problems in the domain of GMO’s genetically traceability.

One main goal of this project is to develop in a two years challenge an accurate analytical method able to face the problem of the increasing GMO’s diversity on the international market, the cost of analysis and the delay for results production.

Another purpose consists in an evaluation of the sampling methods and the measure of the threshold for GMO’s traces in seeds lots.

A third goal more related to fundamental research and thus, more universal, is to rationalised the notion of DNA "quality" in physically/chemically terms and not more in functionally terms. The relation between "quality" and precision of quantification will be studied to improve the actual methods of quantification.

Finally, in prevision of the European regulation on foodstuff and moreover with the difficulty to get at good time the reference material of authorised and non authorised GMOs, a fourth objective consists to evaluate the use of genetic markers of GMOs cloned in plasmid as positive reference material.


Methodology

The basic method relies on identification of GMO’s genetic markers and their parental lines. These markers should then be isolated, cloned in plasmids, amplified with a standard PCR method or detected by molecular hybridisation.
By the way, we will evaluate the screening methods based on Biochips and the "INVADER" technologies. We also would use the "Real time" PCR method to quantify GMOs and to sutdy the DNA quality.


Interaction between the different partners

The characterisation of GMO’s genetic markers and their validation before subsequent exploitation in the different screening, identification or quantification methods need the collaboration between ISP and CLO. ISP and the FUNDP collaborate to develop the qualitative or semi-qualitative screening methods. The study of the relation between DNA « quality » and quantification associates the CRA and the CERVA/CODA. The production of cloned genetic markers associates the ISP, the CLO and a lot of European partners non-financed, like for instance the Institute of Reference Material of the European Commission.


Expected Results

The project associates in a « ad hoc » comity a number of industrial or regulatory operators who are the prospective customers of the studied technologies. Beyond the publications of the different results in international journals, a collection of cloned genetic markers should offer a widespread application area, especially for the law regulation field.


Partners

Activity

The FUNDP works on the understanding of the cellular responses and on new molecular analysis technologies as the development of biochips.

The CRA activities, as a part of a department dedicated to the quality of agriculture products, consist in the application of molecular biology to authentication of agro-food products.

The activities of CODA/CERVA consist in the protein identification and protein modifications as well as the monitoring of transgenes in the environment using analytical chemistry techniques.

The activities of the ISP consist to elaborate accredited standards that could be used as a reference system of genetic traceability. Use of these standards could find an application in the federal public health domain, particularly in the detection of GMO in the food chain. ISP also starts research on alternative reference material.

The activities of CLO consist to develop molecular techniques which on one hand allow qualitative and quantitative control of GMO’s traces in seed lots and on the other hand allow a characterisation of cultivars and a measuring of genetic diversity.


Coordinates/Details

Thiers G.
Institute of Public Health-Louis pasteur (ISP) - Section of and Biotechnology
Rue J. Wytsman 14
B-1050 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 642 52 93; Fax: +32 (0)2 642 52 92
e-mail: directeur@iph.fgov.be

Dardenne P.
Agricultural Research Centre (CRA) - Department Quality of Agricultural Products
Chaussée de Namur, 24
B-5030 Gembloux
Tel: +32 (0)81 62 03 50, Fax: +32 (0)81 62 03 88
e-mail: dptqual@cragx.fgov.be

Ir Keymeulen H.
Centrum voor Landbouwkundig Onderzoek (CLO)- Departement Plantenveredeling en - genetica
Caritasstraat, 21
B-9090 Melle
Tel: +32 (0)9 272 29 00, Fax: +32 (0)9 272 29 01
e-mail: m.deloose@clo.fgov.be

Peeters J.
Veterinary and Agrochemical Research (VAD-CODA-CERVA)
Leuvensesteenweg 17
B-3080 Tervuren
Tel: +32 (0)2 379 04 00; Fax: +32 (0)2 379 04 01
e-mail: info@var.fgov.be

Scheuer M.
Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix (FUNDP)
Rue de Bruxelles 61
B-5000 Namur
Tel: +32 (0)81 72 40 01; Fax: +32 (0)81 72 40 03
e-mail: rectorat@fundp.ac.be


Users Committee

- Luc Beernaert - Agence Fédérale pour la Sécurité de la Chaîne Alimentaire - Bruxelles
- Charles Crémer - SPF Santé publique, Sécurité de la Chaîne alimentaire et Environnement - Inspection générale des Denrées alimentaires - Bruxelles
- Yvan Dejaegher - Beroepsvereniging van de mengvoederfabrikanten (BEMEFA vzw) - Brussel
- Joël Demarteau - Advanced Array Technology sa - Namur
- Sylvie Mestdagh - Ministère des Classes moyennes et de l’Agriculture - Administration de la Qualité des Matières premières et du Secteur végétal - Bruxelles
- Chris Moris - Federatie Voedingsindustrie (FEVIA) - Brussel
- C. Vanslembrouck - Ministère des Classes moyennes et de l’Agriculture - Inspection de la Qualité des Matières premières et du Secteur végétal - Bruxelles


Documentation :

Tracing and authentification of GMOs and derived products in the food processing area : final report  Moens, W. - Deloose, M. - Remacle, J. - Callebaut, A. - Berben, G.  Brussels: Federal Science Policy, 2005 (SP1497)
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