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Past Discussions 2013

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Workshop for LMO Detection and Identification Laboratories [#3150]
Dear participants,

As some of you may have seen from the main page for the Laboratory Network (http://bch.cbd.int/onlineconferences/portal_art18/htpi_laboratories.shtml), the current series of discussion groups are the first activity for the Laboratory Network. The second activity will be a workshop to bring together representatives of laboratories from different regions “to exchange information and experience on the implementation of relevant standards and methods” related to the detection and identification of living modified organisms (para. 1(c) of decision BS-V/9, http://bch.cbd.int/protocol/decisions/decision.shtml?decisionID=123220).

We are still developing the programme for the workshop but we wanted to draw your attention to this activity as we are seeking to organize the workshop in a way that responds to the interests and needs of the participants, which we are gathering through these online discussions.

We will be sure to provide you with more information on the workshop as the plans develop.

Thank you,
posted on 2012-04-04 21:26 UTC by Ms. Kathryn Garforth, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
RE: Workshop for LMO Detection and Identification Laboratories [#3154]
Posted on behalf of Siva Reddy:

Hope it is not too late to send my views

There is a need to constantly up-grade  detection methods for all the approved events: As the development of LMOs is a continuous process, there is also a need to develop detection methods on a regular basis. Also. New LMOs in future may  not have classical selection genes (marker free) at the final stages of their development. Detection of such events have to depend on the gene(s) of interest that are integrated into genome. Very often the transgenes may also share lot of homology with the native genes posing some  technical challenges for their detection.  Therefore there is need to develop  robust and highly reproducible detection methods  for all the approved events and this should be shared among the laboratories across the globe. Regional approaches will help  not only help exchange the new detection methods/reagents but also bring foster harmonization of protocols. 

Varying limits  of  LMOs  in the food and feed in different countries (eg. 0.1% in India, 0.9% in EU, 5.0% in Japan, etc.) also make LMO detection more challenging.  Simpler methods need to be developed depending on the detection levels. Sample collection and sample preparation for the detection vary considerably depending on the detection levels.

There is need to integrate  regional perspective in the LMO detection process because:  In general  a number of countries  have boarders that are porous when it comes to the movement of food or feed as well as seed materials. There is also a tendency  to develop free regional market economy and the GMO products will move easily depending on the demand   across the  regional borders. Emergency food aid during natural calamities is another issue that  pose a different  level of challenge for the detection of LMOs. Therefore, more harmonized regional approaches than stand alone national approaches will  aid the national governments in implementing biosafety regulatory frameworks.

In view of the above cited reasons, there is a need for trainer’s training workshops  in all the future  for the detection of new knid of LMOs in order to update the skills of the trainers on constant basis.

Application of emerging new biotechnological  developments  pose a serious challenge for the detection of new kinds of LMOs. Eg, Zinc finger nucleases are in use that have the ability to replace a native gene with single mutation without leaving any other detectable DNA sequences. It is very difficult to detect such LMOs following regular PCR methods.

Therefore, there is a new to support research projects aiming to develop methods for the detection of such LMOS in future.
Siva Reddy
Group Leader
ICGEB, New Delhi
posted on 2012-04-12 15:03 UTC by Ms. Kathryn Garforth, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
RE: Workshop for LMO Detection and Identification Laboratories [#3174]
I agree with Siva Reddy that the harmonization of LMO detection methods is a very important task because of varying limits of LMOs in the food and feed in different countries, and probability that in future new LMOs will not have classical selection genes at the final stages of their development, is very high.
I think that it is very important for the LMO detection specialists and biosafety experts to get the theoretical and practical support of researchers from the institutions like Joint Research Center in EU, for example, to update their skills on constant basis and on the face-to-face meetings.
To implement the Cartagena Protocol on the national level in full, the national biosafety experts should be very well trained persons to reach results expected from the Cartagena Protocol in the biosafety field.

Thank you,
Prof. Elena Makeyeva
BCH NFP, Belarus
Deputy Head of the National Coordination
Biosafety Center
posted on 2012-04-17 12:48 UTC by Assoc. Prof. Elena Makeyeva, Belarus
RE: Workshop for LMO Detection and Identification Laboratories [#4373]
I also agree with the need to upgrade and harmonize detection and sampling methods involving LMOs. This has really been a challenge to our organization being that it was the first in Kenya to start engaging in LMO detection. Practical support to laboratories involved in LMO detection will be a great milestone since it is still a very new technology especially in Africa with only a few countries having the ability to carry of the tests.

Lilian Okiro,
Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service,
posted on 2013-03-09 08:25 UTC by Lilian Okiro
RE: Workshop for LMO Detection and Identification Laboratories [#4402]
Dear Kathryn and dear participants of this forum,

First, I would like to thank the opportunity to participate in this very important forum.
Since this is my first intervention I would kindly like to ask the Secretariat for information on what exactly is been discussed in this round. I have seen that many threads are still open.

Many thanks in advance.


Sarah Agapito.
posted on 2013-03-12 13:41 UTC by Dr. Sarah Agapito-Tenfen, NORCE Norwegian Research Centre
RE: Workshop for LMO Detection and Identification Laboratories [#4403]
I think and in my point of view, the workshop should include also the European Network of GMO Laboratory which is actually expended to an international network. I used to work in this network representing one of the french laboratories and participating in the European Program called CoExtra (Co-Extra is a EU research programme on co-existence and traceability). This project was conducted by 52 partners in 18 countries, the Co-Extra project developed cost-effective and reliable tools for the co-existence and traceability of GM, conventional and organic crops. The design of such tools must consider gene flow management, costs and methods of segregating GM and non-GM products, GMO sampling and detection, and liability and compensation. Actually, many papers and websites such as those of the EU-RL (European Reference Laboratories) offer validated methods to be used in routine analysis taking into account all the performance criteria (sensitivity, specificity, precision …etc) of the developed tests. In addition the regulations are different from one country to another especially with the threshold used…and absent in other countries which is the case of Tunisia for example.
So I think that many factors have to be considered when implementing relevant standards and methods. In fact, these methods will be used on different matrices ranging from plant material, to processed food and feed. This will require a sophisticated method of sampling and analyte extraction (DNA or protein) and than validated method (PCR or ELISA) with the appropriate standards. All these parameters have to be harmonized and checked carefully before the implementation of the GMO control procedures. Finally, I will say that the LMO detection laboratory must be accredited with the international standard (ISO17025) to avoid any false positives or negatives in the results.
posted on 2013-03-12 14:47 UTC by Dr MAHER CHAOUACHI, Tunisia