| | english | español | français |
  Home|The Cartagena Protocol|HTPI|SD&I|Laboratories|Discussions 2019   Printer-friendly version

Detection and Identification Online Discussions 2019

Return to the list of threads...

Topic 3

Forum closed. No more comments will be accepted on this forum.
Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#9973]
Dear Participants,

Under this item, I invite you to share your views on the current capacity for the detection and identification of LMOs. The aim of this discussion is to complement the information received through the submission of information as per paragraph 5 of decision 9/11, which may be viewed following this address: https://forms.office.com/Pages/AnalysisPage.aspx?id=2zWeD09UYE-9zF6kFubccA2z1DZujnFDqnH0hFHeauFUOEFHN0RaNFFMOFJYWTdIUENIQklQVjkyVS4u&AnalyzerToken=fQTh4boZCu10yAnvkjDCHUHWfBiSlCwH

Participants may wish to consider the following aspects to guide the discussion:
- Is there sufficient capacity in your country or region to carry out detection and identification of LMOs?
- What are the challenges that are currently being faced (if any)?
- Have there been recent efforts and/or collaborations with other countries and/or organizations to improve the capacity for detection and, identification of LMOs?
- Who are the relevant organizations involved in improving global capacity for detection and identification?
- Where should efforts be focused to improve the global capacity on detection and identification of LMOs?

When posting this information; kindly provide the source, and indicate if it is coming from a publication, your own work, or any other source. In addition, if you would like to respond to another post, we request that you mention the # of the post you are responding to, for example: “in response to post # XXXX, …”. This will also facilitate the understanding of others. Please post your responses under this thread. We also advise you to review the general guidelines for the forum posted on the main webpage of the discussion.

Sincere regards,

Shakirat Ajenifujah-Solebo
posted on 2019-10-28 01:05 UTC by Mr Austein McLoughlin, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#9975]
Greetings from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) !
I’m Freddy Bulubulu, Researcher, Department of Biotechnology and Molecular Biology, Regional Center for Nuclear Studies of Kinshasa (CREN-K.).
First thanks to the Organizers for this opportunity that offers us.
Due to its geographical position, the DRC has the advantage of belonging to the Central African sub-region and the SADEC sub-region. So far, most countries in the Central Africa subregion do not yet have sufficient skilled human resources and laboratories well equipped for the detection of LMOs.
Fortunately, as a member of SADC, the DRC is participating in a GEF / UNEP-funded project "Multi Country Project to Build Institutional Capacities in LMO Testing in Support of National Decision Making" (MCP-ICLT) in collaboration with The Regional Agricultural and Environmental Innovations Network - Africa (RAEIN-Africa), as executive agency. This project was officially launched in 2017. Thanks to this project, 2 laboratories of the DRC (Biotechnology Laboratory of CRENK and the Veterinary Laboratory of Kinshasa) have been reinforced in equipment and training of staff on the detection of LMOs. The CRENK Laboratory also participated in the training on detection and identification of LMOs for French-speaking countries, organized by the Secretariat in Tunis and a few Workshops organized by the Secretariat in collaboration with JRC. However, the current challenges in the DRC concern the training of a large number of researchers and technicians on LMOs detection and identification, especially on new techniques available and synthetic biology; and the availability of reference material/certified reference material.
posted on 2019-11-01 07:55 UTC by Mr. Freddy Bulubulu Otono, Democratic Republic of the Congo
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#9979]
Dear colleagues,

Thank you Shakirat Ajenifujah-Solebo for moderating this topic. My name is Analía Sanabria and I work at the Environmental Laboratory of the National Environmental Directorate (DINAMA) of Uruguay. Among its objectives, it has identified the need to develop molecular techniques to detect genetic modified vegetal organisms, as a way to protect organic farmers and their cultivars, to ensure the coexistence principle promoted by the Cartagena´s Protocol.
In my opinion, we have sufficient capacity in Uruguay to carry out detection and identification of LMOs, as we have equipment and human resources. Also, new legal framework about food labeling has impulsed the detection of GMO in food matrix.
Despite the variety of strategies used to analyze LMOs, we have studied carefully the EU Database of Reference Methods for GMO Analysis in order to choose the methodology.
Among the challenges we are facing, I can enumerate:
1. Lack of standardization in the detection and quantification of LMO by qPCR. There are a myriad of protocols to detect the same events, or the same target sequence and it´s hard to choose one. In my opinion this situation affects the comparability of the results.
2. Now, we are designing a validation plan and looking for reference material. It´s important to count with a good positive control for qualitative routine runs. As we couldn´t purchase one, we are planning to develop it, but there are some plasmids ready to use as Sybricon, it use would be great. Unfortunately, this plasmid is not distributed at LatAm, as far as I know.
3. How to detect unauthorized LMOs? NGS appears to be a promissory approach, but it´s a bit expensive to analyse routinely a big number of samples
4. Develop networks with other countries of LatAm. I hope this forum could help in this way (this also fall in Topic 1).
(edited on 2019-11-01 15:13 UTC by Analía Sanabria)
posted on 2019-11-01 15:12 UTC by Dra. Analía Sanabria, Uruguay
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#9982]
The Cameroon Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED) is interested in testing and monitoring the  GMOs (mainly crops) that enter the country. The Biotechnology Unit of the University of Buea, Cameroon, has often given some imported samples for testing for the presence of GMO. In just one occasion that we have had GM maize. The laboratory has also taken the initiative to test some samples of imported rice and flour but have not detected any GMO. Here too we did not detect any LMO.
The  main laboratory that carries out GMO testing in Cameroon is the Molecular & Cell Biology Laboratory (http://www.mcblbiotechub.com/research-group.html) of the Biotechnology unit, University of Buea. Very few laboratories and individuals in Cameroon are involved or capable carrying out GMO testing.  So the problem of capacity building is challenging.
Also challenging are: lack of adequate infrastructure, equipment and reagents availability, equipment maintenance and power failure.
We had at one time solicited the Molecular Biology & Biotechnology platform of Brussels, Belgium for capacity building but the cost was too high for us (Price for a scientists per day : 1200€ ). They however tried to no avail to get help in capacity building  at the EU (JRC).

To improve the global capacity on detection and identification of LMOs, efforts should focus on infrastructure, equipment, expertise in equipment maintenance and capacity building in detection, identification & quantification of GMO.
posted on 2019-11-01 19:58 UTC by Pr Stephen Ghogomu, Cameroon
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#9983]
Dear participants,
I would like as an expert on GMO detection and monitoring to share my experience and all the
Steps achived in Tunisia. We had completed under the lead of the Ministry of charge of the environment
A UNEP GEF project (closed 2015) with three main components namely the establishment of a regulatory framework, the establishment of a new GMO network labortories with a reference laboratory in theNAtional Gene Bak. I have also been a coordinator of the network and also a coordinator in the MENA region
I was involved also in the implementation of new GMO labortories in different african laboratories
In Liberia and Madagascar with a specific training and capacity building for the different teams in these countries... And it was successful missions.
So for my colleague of Cameroun as a lead expert and specialist in GMO detection and quantification i can help as mucj as i can to implement and make the capacity building with sharing my experience in the domain and esoxially technical and complying with the ISO standards... So making networks are very crucial so the experts can exchange their experience and share their skills especially that i have collaborated with the JRC and ENGL also...

Maher Chaouachi, PhD
posted on 2019-11-01 20:27 UTC by Dr MAHER CHAOUACHI, Tunisia
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#9985]
Dear Forum Participants,

Thank you for the interesting discussions on Topic 3: Current capacities for LMO detection and identification. Participants are encouraged to enumerate the strengths and gaps in their respective  laboratories and countries, this may likely lead to future collaborations.


Shakirat
posted on 2019-11-02 07:58 UTC by Ms. Shakirat Ajenifujah-Solebo, Nigeria
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#9987]
Dear participants

         My office, Department of Fisheries responds for monitoring and control GM fishes in country. Working are function through Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) according to the CBD and Cartagena Protocal and Office of Natural Resource and Environmental Policy and Planing is the focal point office.  
          The Capacity in my country for detection of GM fishes is slightly lacking. We already have equipment which sufficient to qualitative and quantitative detection, but need standardize laboratory and well training person. In my opinion, the detection should be done by group or co-operative of many country instead of only one or two country, because the transboundary movement of GM fishes are concern with many countries.
I’m working in aquatic animal genetic research and have experience about detection and identification of GM fishes. Firstly, detection of GM zebrafish (Danio rerio) which contain fluorescent protein gene. I use conventional technique by use PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). The primers that I use were derived from Amanuma et al. (2008). We must have more information e.g. the sequence of cascade genes or primer sequence from exporter or operator for detection another GM fishes.

thank you
Ponlachart Pewnane
Fisheries Biologist, Aquatic Animal Genetic R&D Division, Dept. of Fisheries, Thailand
posted on 2019-11-05 01:39 UTC by Mr. Ponlachart Pewnane, Thailand
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#9988]
Thank you Ponalchart #9987 for your input on GM fishes.

We will appreciate other countries that have activities with living modified animals (aquatic or land) sharing their knowledge and experience as well as the strengths and gaps in this area as well.


Shakirat
posted on 2019-11-05 12:21 UTC by Ms. Shakirat Ajenifujah-Solebo, Nigeria
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#9993]
Dear Ponlachart Pewnane

Greetings from Malaysia!

I am working at the Department of Chemistry Malaysia in which we are in the midst of developing a detection method for GM zebrafish. We have obtained primer sequences for PCR and real time PCR, but Our primary issue at the moment is obtaining reference material for the validation of this detection method. Would you be so kind to share with us the source of our reference material if you have any? If not, would you be able to share with us what controls did you use instead for your method development? Any assistance on this is much appreciated.

Thank you

Yuva
posted on 2019-11-06 01:28 UTC by Dr Yuvaneswari Swaran, Malaysia
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#9999]
Thank you Yuvaneswari #9993

You seem to be responding to the input on GM Fish detection and identification from Ponalchart #9987.

Is it possible there are other participants in the forum that can share more insight on the availability of reference materials? And more experiences on GM fishes generally that this forum can benefit from?

Thank you

Shakirat
(edited on 2019-11-06 16:05 UTC by Shakirat Ajenifujah-Solebo)
posted on 2019-11-06 14:23 UTC by Ms. Shakirat Ajenifujah-Solebo, Nigeria
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10032]
Dear Mr.Yuva
      I'm so sorry becaus I just use qualitative PCR with DNA from one fluorescent zebrafish for positive control and normal one for negative control not the quantitative real-time PCR. Information form technical paper as below may help you.

Rehbein, H. and J. Bogerd. 2007. Identification of genetically modified Zebrafish (Danio rerio) by
       protein-and DNA-analysis. J. Verbr. Lebensm 2:122-125.

Ponlachart Pewnane
Aquatic Animal Genetics R&D Division, Dept. of Fisheries, Thailand
posted on 2019-11-08 01:47 UTC by Mr. Ponlachart Pewnane, Thailand
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10068]
Dear Yuva,
Thank you very much for your input on the lack of reference material in carrying out detection & identification of GMOs. Indeed we have the same problem in Cameroon.

I do not know if a repository of existing GM genes  is available. This repository would have been able to solve this problem of reference material. Any answer from participants?
hank you

Stephen
posted yesterday at 09:47 UTC by Pr Stephen Ghogomu, Cameroon
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#9989]
Greetings from Ethiopia
I am Mr. Wendmnew Abrie Mekonnen, GMO Risk Assessment Senior Expert, actually we have a challenge on the detection of LMOs due to the lack of reagents. As a result, our Laboratory is not functional know. So dear participants how can you help us?
posted on 2019-11-05 13:20 UTC by Mr. Wendmnew Abrie Mekonnen, Ethiopia
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10000]
Thank you Wendmnew #9989 for sharing your experience with us. Is the challenge with reagent due to lack of information on whereto source them? Perhaps identifying and engaging with other laboratories within your country, region and other networks would be helpful.

Shakirat
posted on 2019-11-06 14:42 UTC by Ms. Shakirat Ajenifujah-Solebo, Nigeria
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#9997]
My greetings to all the participants of the forum!

I represent the National Biosafety Coordination Center, which has a GMO Detection Laboratory, one of 17 throughout the country accredited in accordance with the requirements of ISO 17025. All of them have competent personnel and modern equipment for real-time PCR.
The national legislation stipulates that when importing all soy and corn or other organisms that have documents on the presence of LMOs to the territory of the Republic of Belarus, each batch is subject to laboratory identification.
At the first stage of the LMO analysis, a screening is carried out for the presence of common GM elements (e.g. 35S, NOS, pat, bar cp4-epsps, Ssura, te9). If any of them is detected, the GM line is identified. The tests for unauthorized lines are conducted as well. It appears to be more and more difficult and expensive to include new tests in the analysis scheme. Obviously, it is necessary to improve this scheme in some way.
In Belarus we don’t produce all the reagents for GMO detection. Some for unauthorized lines are purchased abroad for example in lyophilized form. So it can be the option for those countries who have the same problem.
Sometimes we need to perform the analysis of a new GMO that is a result of a scientific work. In this case we order a specific primer, and of course there is no reference material then.
posted on 2019-11-06 11:32 UTC by Ms. Larysa Ushkova, Belarus
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10001]
Thank you Larysa #9997 for sharing your experience in Belarus! Are there recent efforts or collaborations with other countries or organisations to improve the capacity for LMO detection and identification? For example what would you suggest to help in reducing the challenge of detection and identification of unauthorized GM lines?

Shakirat
(edited on 2019-11-06 16:04 UTC by Shakirat Ajenifujah-Solebo)
posted on 2019-11-06 14:53 UTC by Ms. Shakirat Ajenifujah-Solebo, Nigeria
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10014]
Hello everyone. This is Eva Bermúdez from CIBIOGEM.

Speaking of building capacities regarding activities of detection and monitoring LMOs, I would like to point first that many of the academic laboratories in our National Network works primarily in other projects where they applied the techniques used in molecular biology; as a result of this, the time spent in detection and identification is not full-time. To overcome this, we need to build enough human and material capacities to strength the Network and to have more laboratories only advocated to the detection activities.

We also need to strength or monitoring capacity. Nowadays the Monitoring National Network is not properly working and the results that we have obtained about this topic are the result of individual efforts as the INECC project or some studies carried by researchers from the Ecology Institute at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and both are focused in maize but we need to extend our capacities to other relevant crops as cotton.

Another limitation is that in Mexico we do not produce the reagents and kits from LMO detection. Thus, we need to keep working in the developed of certified material used as a control in the analysis because actually the waiting times to receive the products from abroad are long.

Capacity building is also required to implement techniques used to detect products from synthetic biology or gene editing, as mentioned before in Topic 1.

Finally, I think this forum is a great opportunity to share experiences and to cooperate in order to obtain information related with LMO identification that will be helpful to protect our biodiversity and to try to minimize the negative impacts in it and in human health.

Best regards:

Eva Bermúdez
Deputy Director of Scientific and Technological Development and Innovation
Executive Secretary of CIBIOGEM
posted on 2019-11-06 22:30 UTC by M Sc. Eva Patricia Bermúdez Garcia, Mexico
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10020]
Many thanks for asking, Shakirat #10001.
Our center has successfully collaborated with the Institute of Biology in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Institute staff taught us the method of digital PCR. After that, we purchased the necessary equipment for our center and are now trying to introduce this method into our activities. It can allow the simultaneous detection of several GM lines due to different lengths of amplified sequences. Our efforts are now focused on this.

Ideally, I would like all GM lines to be detected, for example, on one DNA chip. But I have not heard of such developments.

By the way, I believe that the above methods can also be used to detect synbio organisms.

Larysa
posted on 2019-11-07 12:09 UTC by Ms. Larysa Ushkova, Belarus
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10015]
Dear Participants,

Bridging the capacity gaps in the detection, identification and monitoring of LMOs is a continuous process and would require deliberate efforts. There are several possibilities of collaboration in this regard.

One of such is the training workshop on detection and identification of LMOs in Nigeria, a collaboration of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), Canada, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Italy, the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) and National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) both in Nigeria which held recently in September 2019 hosting participants from Anglo-African countries and ICGEB member States from Asia, Latin America and Middle East. The Government of the Republic of Korea, through the Korea Biosafety Capacity Building Initiative and the ENGL with the participation of the Environmental Agency of Austria were also involved . This created a platform to build networks; stimulate and strengthen regional collaborations for exchanging information.

Participants are called upon to also share any of such opportunities for capacity building, identify the organisations that are involved in global capacity building efforts, and where current capacity building efforts should be directed to improve global capacity?

Looking forward to your responses!

Shakirat
posted on 2019-11-06 23:16 UTC by Ms. Shakirat Ajenifujah-Solebo, Nigeria
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10018]
Dear Shakirat #10015,

Thank you for sharing your capacity building experience in West Africa. East Africa will benefit from similar capacity building opportunities because we are aware that many products containing ingredients of LMOs are coming in our countries without detection. Uganda is happy to host a similar training in the East African region.

We will also appreciate learning about other global capacity building opportunities that exist for detection and identification of LMOs.

Barbara
posted on 2019-11-07 03:22 UTC by Dr. Barbara Zawedde, Uganda
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10026]
Thank you Chair for this other round of discussions.
I will reply accordingly.

- Is there sufficient capacity in your country or region to carry out detection and identification of LMOs?
No. Brazil is one of the largest agricultural exporters and the national laboratories do not have the necessary infrasctucture and funds to perform surveillance and monitoring analysis on authorized and unauthorized GMOs.

- What are the challenges that are currently being faced (if any)?
Infrasctucture and capacity building. Also, reagents and materials for routine analysis are also not always available.

- Have there been recent efforts and/or collaborations with other countries and/or organizations to improve the capacity for detection and, identification of LMOs?
There has been some efforts in the Latin America region but not all the laboratories in the country are always aware of such opportunities. There is also a lack of communication between the laboratories.

- Who are the relevant organizations involved in improving global capacity for detection and identification?
I tend to think that JRC.

- Where should efforts be focused to improve the global capacity on detection and identification of LMOs?
I think that efforts should be focused on developing countries.

Thank you

Sarah
posted on 2019-11-07 14:25 UTC by Dr. Sarah Agapito-Tenfen, Brazil
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10028]
Dear Sara,

There was a misunderstanding about your information posted on this forum. Brazil has two official laboratories and three laboratories on MAPA´s network for analysis of detection and quantification of GMOs in grains, vegetable parts, food and feed. All laboratories are accredited to ISO-IEC 17025: 2017 standard. In addition to these five labs two other labs are under recognition by the Ministry of Agriculture and they are already accredited to  ISO-IEC 17025: 2017 standard. The official laboratory in Goiás, in addition to qPCR, performs digital PCR and sequencing analysis. We also are in process to implement NGS in our routine analysis. In recent years we have offered several training courses for specialists from universities, embrapa and private laboratories, from Brazil and abroad.

Regina M. Sartori Coelho
Official Laboratory in Goiania (LFDA-GO)
Ministry of Agriculture, Stock Food and Supply of Brazil
posted on 2019-11-07 18:03 UTC by Miss Regina M. Sartori Coelho, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA)
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10025]
Dear Participants,

Thank you for your views and input on capacity-building for the detection and identification of LMOs.

Due to the recent discussions, the Secretariat would like to extend the forum to 1:00 GMT on Monday 11 November and invite participants to continue sharing their views on capacity-building. We would like to remind participants that these discussions will complement the submission of information on the detection and identification of LMOs.

We look forward to the continued input on capacity-building.

Warm regards,

Austein McLoughlin
posted on 2019-11-07 14:20 UTC by Mr Austein McLoughlin, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10039]
Dear colleagues,

I would first like to thank the Secretariat for extending these discussions allowing others to contribute as well.

I would also like to clarify that detection and identification methodologies should not be restricted to methodologies and protocols for detection and identification of products in the food chain and, therefore, only related to labelling and traceability. Detection and identification methodologies must also serve the regulatory demands for risk assessment and monitoring under the Cartagena Protocol and national legislations. In many cases, monitoring include the analysis of heterogeneous samples to which some ISO standards might not be sufficient or adequate.

I would then like to share a paper we have written on the challenges to detect transgene flow from transgenic maize to landrace maize varieties. In this paper, we have made specific recommendations for further research in the topic, including recommendations that have already been made before in this network.

Sampling
* Integrate social and ecological data to help determine environmental protection goals and guide environmental sampling
* Consider the temporal dimension affecting transgene frequency and design sampling (and/or interpret results) accordingly
* Decide how to best handle geographic heterogeneity if there is an aim to calculate percentage or frequency of transgenes
Testing
* Establish threshold levels and limits of detection that are relevant for environmental monitoring of low level presence
* Adapt the DNA extraction protocols to be as efficient as possible for the particular heterogeneous sample in use
* Test for potential PCR inhibitors and work to develop additional quality control measures when an endogenous positive control gene is not valid
* Use multiple methods and inter-laboratory testing to validate the methods and results
Policy
* Ensure that there is open access to transgene sequence information and that all event approvals appear in a public registry
* Establish monitoring networks that can be linked to existing agricultural data and databases
* Develop international guidelines for verifying and confirming low level presence in reference materials
* Have clear information requirements for publications reporting on transgene detection in wild relatives and landraces to enhance reliability and consistency


Thank you

Sarah

Link to the paper: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10531-017-1471-0 (open access)
posted on 2019-11-08 08:58 UTC by Dr. Sarah Agapito-Tenfen, Brazil
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10043]
Dear colleagues,

- Is there sufficient capacity in your country or region to carry out detection and identification of LMOs?
I’m from the Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment «BIOR», Latvia. Latvia is Member State of European Union (EU).
Our institute is National reference Laboratory for GMO detection in food, feed and seeds. Since the year 2002 the Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment "BIOR“ (former National Diagnostic Centre) is a member of The European Network of Genetically Modified Organisms Laboratories (ENGL). We use ISO standard methods and methods validated by Joint Research Centre (JRC) of EU. Our laboratory is accredited by Latvian National Accreditation Bureau (LATAK) according to ISO 17025 since 2002. Our laboratory is the only official control laboratory for GMO in the country. The capacity is sufficient.

- What are the challenges that are currently being faced (if any)?
None.

- Have there been recent efforts and/or collaborations with other countries and/or organizations to improve the capacity for detection and, identification of LMOs?
We have good cooperation with Department of Biotechnology and Systems Biology of the National Institute of Biology in Slovenia and Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, Berlin, Germany.

- Who are the relevant organizations involved in improving global capacity for detection and identification?
I think that the relevant organizations are Joint Research Centre (JRC) of EU, European Food Safety Authority and Network of GMO testing laboratories of Germany (https://www.bfr.bund.de/en/reference_laboratory_of_the_network_on_genetically_modified_organisms__gvo_-10524.html).

- Where should efforts be focused to improve the global capacity on detection and identification of LMOs?

Efforts should be focused on detection of organisms produced by genome editing technologies.

Best ragards,
Lelde Grantina-Ievina, Dr. biol.
Senior Researcher,
Department of Risk Asessment and Epidemiology,
Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment “BIOR”,
Lejupes Street 3,
Riga, LV1076,
Latvia
posted on 2019-11-08 09:41 UTC by Dr. Lelde Grantina-Ievina, Latvia
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10045]
Dear participants,

Greetings from Brazil! I am Maria da Glória Trindade from National Official Laboratory in Goiânia / Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil. Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Food Supply together with Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Health is responsible for the oficial GMO control in Brazil. I will comment each question as following:

Is there sufficient capacity in your country or region to carry out detection and identification of LMOs?

Considering the importance of Brazil in the worldwide scenario I suppose that there is sufficient capacity in the detection and identification of LMOs. The Brazil surveillance system is structured in a national network involving two official laboratories and three private ones. There are two more privates laboratories in process of accreditation by the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil. As an official laboratory our unit located in Goiás State is responsible for the official GMO control and monitoring of private laboratories in the national network. As routine activities we perform analysis of detection, identification and quantification of GMO in food and feed products mainly by Real Time PCR methods. We follow the guidelines published by JRC related to methods criteria acceptance: Definition of minimum performance requirements for analytical methods of GMO testing available at https://gmo-crl.jrc.ec.europa.eu/doc/MPR%20Report%20Application%2020_10_2015.pdf, methods validation: Verification of analytical methods for GMO testing when implementing interlaboratory validated methods - Version 2, available at https://gmo-crl.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ENGL/docs/WG-MV-Report-version-2.pdf and uncertainty measurement: Guidance Document on Measurement Uncertainty for GMO Testing Laboratories, available at https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/sites/jrcsh/files/eur22756en.pdf. We also follow the standards published by ISO related to GMO analysis. To identify a specific GMO we perform a screening analysis by seven sequences common to the majority of  GMO events released on the market (P35S, T-NOS, CTP2-EPS-PS, PAT, BAR, PFMV, NPTII) plus one plant specific sequence as an endogenous control (tRNA-Leu). Based on the matrix approach we search the GMOs present in the sample and, if necessary, we quantify the GMOs detected based on a standard curve stablished by CRMs. In the case of some events that are not detect by the screening approach, we perform event specific detection methods.  In the GMO field we follow all the quality controls for quality assurance like use of certified reference materials, participation in proficiency programs (FAPAS, USDA), equipment calibration, personnel training and etc to comply with ISO/IEC 17025:2017 (we have all the scope related to GMO analysis accredited based on this standard). We also perform other kind of analysis like plant pest identification by sequencing and qPCR, animal species identification and quantification by qPCR to combat fraud by species addition. Fish species identification by SANGER sequencing aiming to combat fraud by species substitution and Plant Genotyping by fragment analysis. We are in process to implement Next Generation Sequencing in our routine analysis aiming metagenomics analysis among other applications.

- What are the challenges that are currently being faced (if any)?

I think the biggest challenge is to implement detection methods for the new GMO obtained by the New Breeding Techniques, Like genome editing. We need standardized methods which nowadays are not available in the current scientific databases. Another challenge is the lack of CRMs and Proficiency Program for specific species, like cotton and Beans.

- Have there been recent efforts and/or collaborations with other countries and/or organizations to improve the capacity for detection and, identification of LMOs?

In latin America we have a network  named LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN Network of GMO-analysis (RLAC-OGM) and there are some meetings aiming to improve capacity for detection and identification of GMOs in the participant countries.



- Who are the relevant organizations involved in improving global capacity for detection and identification?
I believe JRC is the most relevant in the global scenario spreading knowledge and building capacity around the world. Brazil has been benefited from several training workshops supported by JRC.

- Where should efforts be focused to improve the global capacity on detection and identification of LMOs?
I think effort should be focused in strengthening all the networks around the globe, mostly in the networks involving developing countries.


Thank you all for the great contributions in this forum.
Regards,

Maria.
posted on 2019-11-08 13:34 UTC by MSc Maria da Glória Trindade, Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Food Supply
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10049]
Thank you Gloria for your excellent contribution to the forum. I would like to point out that in Brazil, the supervision of the cultivation and marketing of GMOs is done by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, by the Ministry of Health and by the Ministry of Environment. The production chain also carries out the controls to atend the internal legislation and market requirements and they are able to use the laboratory network available at all of three levels. At the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Maria da Gloria Trindade, Dr Glauco Antonio Teixeira and I, Regina M. Sartori Coelho, are responsible for conducting GMO analyzes, monitoring the national network and as legal representatives of Brazil in the laboratory field under supervisiono Dr Rodrigo Nazareno, General Coordinator of Official Laboratories. Coordinating oversight actions at the Ministry of Agriculture is Dr. Fernanda Lovato, under the supervision of Dr. Virginia Capri, General Coordinator for Seed, Seedling and Cultivation Protection, They are also legal representatives of Brazil of fiscalization activities. In addition, as legal representative we can also cite the agricultural attachés, especially Dr. Luciana Ambrozevicius, expert in molecular biology, who currently represents Brazil in Canada.
posted on 2019-11-08 14:34 UTC by Miss Regina M. Sartori Coelho, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA)
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10058]
I wish to acknowledge all the contributors from Brazil that have shared the information on the processes that are in place for LMO detection, identification and available capacities and gaps.

Thank you

Shakirat
posted on 2019-11-08 15:44 UTC by Ms. Shakirat Ajenifujah-Solebo, Nigeria
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10046]
Dear Colleagues,
I would like to thank the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, for organizing the online discussions.
I am Gretta Abou-Sleymane, director of the ISO 17025 accredited LMOs/GMOs laboratory in Lebanon. The laboratory has initiated a series of activities that aim at assessing the presence of LMOs/GMOs in feed, food and seeds in the Lebanese market as well as developing cost effective GMOs test methods, in an attempt to trigger the development of proper GMOs regulatory measures in the country.
At the regional level, the laboratory has worked in close collaboration with other colleagues in the MENA region to establish the MENA network of GMOs laboratories (MENANGL). The primary purpose of the MENANGL is to empower the member laboratories to face the challenges in the field of detection, identification and quantification of GMOs as well as harmonize the GMOs analysis procedures between the MENA countries. In this regard, several meetings and practical trainings have been organized for the MENANGL members. Moreover, and with the highly appreciated support of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, a successful comparative testing round was organized for the MENANGL laboratories. Finally, the laboratories are currently completing a regional project that consists in the LMOs/GMOs assessment of products commercialized in MENA markets. 
We are looking forward to enlarging the network and finding means to meet the current evolving challenges.
posted on 2019-11-08 14:01 UTC by Dr Gretta Abou-Sleymane, Lebanon
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10057]
Dear colleagues,

official control laboratories have to be accredited according to ISO 17025 in Germany, thereby fulfil the requirements for detection and identification of LMO. Therefore, to my experience there is comparable less need for capacity building since laboratories are well-equipped and have trained personel. At the EU level, for approved genetically modified food or feed, detection methods are validated by the EU Reference Laboratory (EU-RL GMFF) in cooperation with the European Network of GMO laboratories (ENGL) and certified reference material must be made available. Detection of EU unauthorized  LMO might be difficult without validated methods or reference material. A current challenge is the fact that in the EU, in contrast to other regions, the highest EU court of justice has decided, that plants obtained by use of new molecular breeding techniques are assessed as LMO. Approaches to detect and identify these NBT plants and events  are at a very early stage and awaits proof-of-concept and applicability with regard to the event-specificity (see report of the ENGL on "Detection of food and feed plant products
obtained by new mutagenesis techniques" https://gmo-crl.jrc.ec.europa.eu/doc/JRC116289-GE-report-ENGL.pdf). Please allow me to mention here as well my recent open access paper on this topic ("Detection and Identification of Genome Editing in Plants: Challenges and Opportunities" https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2019.00236/full ).

Most of the German official control laboratories are ENGL members which is as such an important permanent capacity building activity. On a global level the ENGL and its experts can support and improve capacity-building and knowledge transfer and foster standardization and harmonization of LMO detection and identification.

A very helpful tool for parties that face a lack in capacity and knowledge built-up – as some earlier posts document – might be the finalization of the manual on detection and identification of living modified organisms as is it requested in Decision BS-9/11. We support this view and encourage this activity.

On-line forum members seeking for assistance may contact the experts through the Roster of Experts (http://bch.cbd.int/database/experts/). Another helpful tool which is recommended is the EUginius website (http://euginius.eu/euginius/pages/home.jsf).

Thank you for the possibility to share views and thought!

Kind regards
Lutz Grohmann
posted on 2019-11-08 15:27 UTC by Lutz Grohmann, Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10060]
Dear participants,

Thank you for all the great contributions. Regarding the specific questions presented by the chair:

- Is there sufficient capacity in your country or region to carry out detection and identification of LMOs?
Yes, there is sufficient capacity in Brazil, although training and capacity building is always welcome in face of new developments. There are two important components of monitoring one is the inspections that according with the Brazilian Law 11.105 are competencies of the Ministry of Agriculture, Health and Environment and the other component is the analysis for detection, identification and quantification of GMOs. The Ministry of Agriculture has two official laboratories and three accredited laboratories (http://www.agricultura.gov.br/assuntos/laboratorios/laboratorios-credenciados/biotecnologia-e-organismos-geneticamente-modificados) dedicated to validating methods and performing analysis according to ISO 17025.

- What are the challenges that are currently being faced (if any)?
To develop a strategic plan to focus detection on those events that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. For authorized events they are considered safe and there is no need of detection unless there is some use restriction.

- Have there been recent efforts and/or collaborations with other countries and/or organizations to improve the capacity for detection and, identification of LMOs?
There are some collaborations in the biotec field but they should also promote the technology transfer so developing countries can work on local and regional solutions for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.    

- Who are the relevant organizations involved in improving global capacity for detection and identification?
I believe improving the global capacity is the JRC.

- Where should efforts be focused to improve the global capacity on detection and identification of LMOs?
The efforts should be focused to improve the capacity of risk assessment. If the countries have the capacity to evaluate the risk of a LMO the asynchrony of approvals will be diminished among the trade partners and the focus of scarce resources of many countries will be on LMO that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.   

Thank you

Luciana Ambrozevicius
Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply - Brazil
posted on 2019-11-08 18:00 UTC by Ms. Luciana Ambrozevicius, Brazil
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10063]
Dear all, Dear Shakirat,

Thank you Shakirat for moderating this online forum.

As we mentioned in Topic 1, NIE have developed LMO quantitative detection methods for approved LMO events in Republic of Korea. In this post I would like to share our experience and suggest to consider several aspects.
- The Korea Biosafety Capacity-Building Initiative aims to support Parties in implementing the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety through capacity building activities from 2015 to 2020. The Initiative is expected to improve the capacities of Parties to (a) conduct and evaluate risk assessments, and manage, monitor and control risks of LMOs; (b) detect and identify LMOs; (c) use the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH); and (d) conduct safety a management program. All these efforts are responsible for the Republic of Korea government
- To develop the LMO detection method, we should obtain the genetic information and relevant reference materials such as LMO CRMs. Even though the researcher could purchase the GM reference materials from IRMM and AOCS, the available LM materials and information are limited. I think that we need to discuss in this forum(or later) how the party could get and access the information and LMO reference materials of newly developed LMO.

Wonkyun Choi, Ph.D
Researcher, National Institue of Ecology
posted on 2019-11-09 00:38 UTC by Wonkyun Choi, Republic of Korea
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10069]
First of all, I would like to thank Shakirat Ajenifujah-Solebo for organizing this attractive discussion and to all of the participants for sharing their valuable views and experience.
In Iran two major authorities (i.e. Food and Drug Organization and the Ministry of Agriculture) are responsible for supervision of the food and feed materials safety, respectively. In this regard, 7 GMO detection laboratories are functional among which two reference labs, one in the National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (NIGEB) and the other in the Agricultural Biotechnology Institute of Iran (ABRII) have the leading roles. The major challenging issues we are facing are a follow:
1. Regional training programs should be planned regularly by international organization for transferring the most advances and sophisticated methods on GMOs detection to the countries. Examples are the practical workshops organized by the ISTA (International Seed Testing Association) on GMO detection, ICGEB (on the risk assessment of LMOs), etc. I believe that with the enormous and fast progress that are made in synthetic biology, gene drive and genome editing, we need to know the related techniques for detecting the products much more precisely and deeply presented by competent experts and scientists.
2. As it has been raised by the other distinguished colleagues, lac of CRMS (Certified Reference Materials) especially for event-specific detection is a major challenge, as it is sometimes very hard to access and buy CRMS for some specific maize events.
3. Regarding detection of stacked events (when two or more transgene or GMO genomes are mixed in one event), the cost of detection would be so high if we want to do detection on single seeds! (Sometimes we should test 20-40 individual seed). Otherwise if we do the detection on a mixed seed sample, It would be so hard to distinguish between a stacked event (e.g. Mon-603-6 x Mon-810-6) and a sample of physically mixture of two events (i.e. Mon-603-6 + Mon-810-6). I would be happy to hear other participants’ comments in this issue specifically.

With best regards and wishes
Amir Mousavi
posted yesterday at 15:35 UTC by Mr. Amir Mousavi, Iran (Islamic Republic of)
RE: Topic 3: Capacity for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10074]
Dear Participants
I wish to address the question of improving the global capacity on detection and identification of LMOs

In CBD/CP/LG/2019/1/4, 7 October 2019 “ACTION PLAN FOR CAPACITY-BUILDING FOR THE IMPLEMENATION OF THE CARTAGENA PROTOCOL AND ITS SUPPLEMENTARY PROTOCOL”, a number of views were submitted on capacities and needs regarding detection and identification of living modified organisms, as well as training, as described in paragraphs 12 through 15.

As I have previously stated in this forum, and on other topics, low cost solutions to detection of LMOs are available.  In my experience, the high cost of detection and inability to access reagents is primarily driven by the burden of high cost, high technology solutions adopted from other regions.  Use of locally relevant approaches would reduce the cost of the monitoring of trans-boundary movements under the protocol.
A lot of discussion in this forum revolves around capacity.  The cost of the capacity to detect LMOs already approved in multiple countries and therefore confirmed to not likely cause adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health, should not be considered as a cost of adhering to the protocol.  These costs and those required  to comply with the protocol are often confounded.  A decision to implement detection methods for an LMO that is not subject to control of transboundary movement under the protocol must be considered a separate additional self-imposed cost to those required to meet the needs of the protocol.
posted yesterday at 18:28 UTC by Dr Raymond Shillito, BASF Corporation
RE: Topic 3: Training for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10075]
Dear participants,
Several participants have commented on the need for training and I have commented on this already in post #10033.

In order to increase the resources for carrying out capacity building, CBD could reach out to and engage GIC and other organizations, including SDOs like Cereal and Grains association and Universities to help provide training at reasonable cost, rather than relying on a limited pool of trainers.  I recommend that in the future, in order to improve transparency and balance and make better use of the expertise available, members of the network of laboratories are notified well in advance of proposals to hold training courses and invited to provide expertise for training.
posted yesterday at 18:32 UTC by Dr Raymond Shillito, BASF Corporation
RE: Topic 3: Reference materials for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10076]
Topic 3:
A large number of posts in several of the topics have requested availability of reference materials. Among these recently posted are, #10045, #10061, #10063, #10069
The Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) and The American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS) offer certified powder and certified DNA reference materials obtained from plants.  All the current LMOs found in international trade are available, along with their non-LMO counterparts.  In Mexico, the National Metrology Center (CENAM) in the project to generate 9 Certified Reference Materials.  I do not know whether these are available to other countries. These LMO materials contain a range of genetic elements and can be used to validate methods for those elements such as 35S, tnos, pfmv, CP4-epsps, pat, bar, nptII, Cry proteins, and others.
As requested by Nigeria (post #10067) I expect that AOCS would be interested in discussing development of reference materials for the GM crops being tested in Nigeria such as sorghum, cowpea, cassava, or for beans for Brazil (post #10045).  Overall AOCS has a quicker and more cost-effective approach.
While these certified reference materials are expensive, secondary standards could be prepared and compared with them, thus reducing the need for constantly purchasing such materials.  This is routinely done in many testing laboratories but will depend on the organization that certifies laboratories (e.g. to ISO 17025, or country standards) in each country, as their handling of this issue varies a lot.

Links:
IRMM: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/science-update/welcome-irmm-reference-materials-catalogue
AOCS Certified Reference Materials for canola (OSR), maize, rice, soybean, cottonseed, and potato: https://www.aocs.org/crm
posted yesterday at 18:35 UTC by Dr Raymond Shillito, BASF Corporation
RE: Topic 3: Reference materials for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10078]
Dear Raymond,

Thank you for the insight you have provided on the issues and challenges that have been raised during the discussions. I am sure that participants would find them very useful as well as the links shared.

Best regards

Shakirat
posted yesterday at 22:13 UTC by Ms. Shakirat Ajenifujah-Solebo, Nigeria
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10077]
Dear Participants

In South Africa, the official testing laboratories must be ISO 17025 accredited in terms of detection, identification and quantification of LMOs.

- Is there sufficient capacity in your country or region to carry out detection and identification of LMOs? There are only a few laboratories accredited to carry out detection and identification. A large number of traders make use of lateral flow -devices to certify their products as LMO free.

- Have there been recent efforts and/or collaborations with other countries and/or organizations to improve the capacity for detection and, identification of LMOs? The Regional Agricultural and Environmental Innovations Network - Africa (RAEIN-Africa), is currently busy with a powerful drive that involves multiple countries in Africa

- Where should efforts be focused to improve the global capacity on detection and identification of LMOs? A standardized testing strategy could be beneficial to implement standard training programs, thereby allowing for the possibility of train the trainer. 

Thank you for all the valuable information that you shared, I found this truly beneficial.
posted yesterday at 19:09 UTC by Dr Tertia Erasmus, South Africa
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10081]
Dear Forum Participants,

Thank you very much for all your contributions in the past 2 weeks under Topic 1. It has been very engaging and interactive. And I hope that all participants will find the information shared on this forum useful.

Kind regards

Shakirat
posted yesterday at 22:35 UTC by Ms. Shakirat Ajenifujah-Solebo, Nigeria
RE: Topic 3: Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs [#10084]
Dear Participants,

Thank you all for your vibrant discussions and insightful input.

The forum is now closed for comment.

Thank you very much and kind regards,

The Secretariat
posted today at 01:01 UTC by Mr Austein McLoughlin, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity