Genetically Modified Food : Objectives for EU Funded Research of Development

01-12-1999

This study provides a concise review and analysis of key issues concerning the current state of research in genetically modified (GM) food in the EU and in the world. It takes into account, among other issues, the strategies of private companies and public research organisms, the developments of consumer and other actors' perceptions and the problems which trade in raw materials for the production of GM food may involve. The shortcomings of European legislation affect the organisation of the monitoring and evaluation of the introduction of GMO in the food chain. Several options have been put forward concerning future research on GMOs in food, including the need for : the development of new methods for the evaluation of risks associated with GMO in food, the harmonisation of detection methods, the assessment of antibiotic marker genes and other techniques aimed at the control of gene expression, addressing the question of responsibility in the introduction of GMOs in food. These options are backed by evidence of recent changes in the organization and role played by public research and advances in genetic modification applied to plants and animals. Scientific results concerning field trials, the risk-benefit assessment of GM food (the study includes three case studies on the subject) and a technical file on genetic engineering techniques, provide additional information in order to gain insight into the debate.

This study provides a concise review and analysis of key issues concerning the current state of research in genetically modified (GM) food in the EU and in the world. It takes into account, among other issues, the strategies of private companies and public research organisms, the developments of consumer and other actors' perceptions and the problems which trade in raw materials for the production of GM food may involve. The shortcomings of European legislation affect the organisation of the monitoring and evaluation of the introduction of GMO in the food chain. Several options have been put forward concerning future research on GMOs in food, including the need for : the development of new methods for the evaluation of risks associated with GMO in food, the harmonisation of detection methods, the assessment of antibiotic marker genes and other techniques aimed at the control of gene expression, addressing the question of responsibility in the introduction of GMOs in food. These options are backed by evidence of recent changes in the organization and role played by public research and advances in genetic modification applied to plants and animals. Scientific results concerning field trials, the risk-benefit assessment of GM food (the study includes three case studies on the subject) and a technical file on genetic engineering techniques, provide additional information in order to gain insight into the debate.

Údar seachtarach

Jacques Blanchet (INRA, Grignon, France)