Task Force on Sampling and Detection Methods for GM Plants/Foods
Proper understanding of sampling and detection methods is vital to the development of workable regulations and to understanding the science of testing. A number of organizations and ILSI branches identified a need for training in methods for detecting products of crops derived through biotechnology.
IFBiC worked with AACC and then took the lead in organizing workshops to deliver the information on detection methods. It identified topics and expert speakers, and provided travel grants for visiting government and academic experts.
- Workshops in Brazil and Argentina (2002); two in India (2003); one in China (2005); Singapore and Colombia (2008). Each workshop consisted of plenary sessions and hands-on laboratory exercises where both protein-based testing (ELISA and LFS) and DNA-based methods were performed. Sessions had up to 90 participants; lab sessions had 20 to 35 participants. These workshops were organized in collaboration with the national government organizations, EC EC JRC, AACC, ITRC, and CDFD. Additionally, a lecture-only program took place in Chile in 2008.
- IFBiC, FAO, AACC, and WHO organized a workshop on the Detection of Protein and/or DNA in GM Foods, preceding the 25th session of CCMAS (2004). The workshop was attended by 23 individuals from nine countries.
- IFBiC contributed speakers at the request of ILSI Japan to the Yokohama Workshop on GMO Detection Methods in November 2004. This workshop featured speakers from Europe, Japan, and the US and facilitated an exchange of knowledge and ideas.
- IFBiC gives presentations on sampling and detection methods as part of other conferences. 2007: The V Brazilian Congress and V Latin American Symposium on Transgenic Products (September); 10th Asian Congress of Nutrition,(September); and at the UNU-BioLAC–ILSI Argentina–ILSI IFBiC Workshop on Safety Evaluation of Crops Nutritionally Improved through Biotechnology: Case Studies (November). 2008: ILSI Brasil: Science and Detection Methods for biotechnology-derived crops (October). 2009: VI Brazilian Congress on Biosafety and VI Latin American Symposium of Biotechnology Products (September).
- IFBiC convened: Workshop on Sampling and Analytical Detection Methods for Products of Agricultural Biotechnology in NAFTA Countries in Baltimore, MD (October 2007)1. The event enabled regulators and government laboratories from Canada, Mexico, and the US to review methods of sampling and analysis. Participants shared the latest research and discussed how to bridge scientific and communication gaps. The activity was designed to facilitate the development of a road map for a harmonized, science-based approach to testing.
- Together with ILSI Focal Point in China, IFBiC co-organized a pair of sampling and detection methods workshops in Shanghai and Beijing aimed to follow-up on past activities in China with an emphasis on applying both traditional and more recently developed detection approaches. The workshops were held in October 2009.
The training workshops and educational sessions provide capacity building for governments and local, in-country organizations by instilling an understanding of the scientific principles of sampling and methods of analysis. Recent programs have also emphasized emerging technologies and design of an accredited testing facility. These programs have created a cadre of people who now have knowledge of the issues and can act as local and regional resources to ensure science-based decision-making.
These activities have established IFBiC as an authoritative voice on sampling and detection methods for GM plants and foods.
- Background paper for Workshop on Sampling and Analytical Detection Methods for Products of Agricultural Biotechnology in NAFTA Countries (English version) (Portuguese version) (Spanish version)