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So far, we have received comments on the proposed scientific quality criteria from the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, Germany (BVL) on October 5th, 2016. The comments can be downloaded here.

 

The G-TwYST research team responded to the BVL comments on November 28th, 2016. The response can be downloaded here.

 

 

Members from the GRACE and G-TwYST research teams recently published “Proposed criteria for the evaluation of the scientific quality of rat and mouse feeding trials with whole food/feed derived from genetically modified plants” in Archives of Toxicology. We cordially invite all stakeholders to contribute to further developing these criteria by sending comments.

 

As one of its tasks G-TwYST developed and proposes criteria to evaluate the scientific quality of 2-year feeding trials. These criteria are now being published in order to trigger a broader discussion in the scientific community an among GMO risk assessment stakeholders. These quality criteria have been developed based on the experience and standards in other toxicity assessment contexts.

 

The proposed quality criteria are:

  1. The design of the feeding trial is based on internationally recognized test guidelines, but adapted for specific needs of whole food/feed studies and non-targeted testing.
  2. An analysis of the plant materials and diets including, among others, macro- and micronutrients, biological and chemical contaminants as well as the identification and quantification of the event, is performed.
  3. The highest level of the plant material that can be incorporated in the animal diets without leading to a nutritional imbalance is tested.
  4. A non-GM line with a comparable genetic background is used as a control.
  5. Specific aspects regarding the choice and housing of the laboratory animals used in the feeding trials are considered.
  6. Appropriate randomization techniques are applied.
  7. A reliable and appropriate sample collection and processing strategy is implemented.
  8. The staff performing the feeding trial and the analysis of the plant materials, diets and animal samples is “blind” with respect to the identity of the diets.
  9. Appropriate statistical methods are applied to evaluate the power of the study and to analyse the obtained results.

 

 

Comments to this and other recently published GRACE papers (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00204-016-1798-4, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00204-014-1374-8) can be sent either:

  • to for publication on the GRACE/G-TwYST website. These comments will be put without further peer-review or editorial polishing on our websites. Depending on the nature of the comment, The GRACE and G-TwYST teams will opt for a response at the project website, if deemed necessary. Offending or discrediting comments will not be accepted for publication,
  • directly to Archives of Toxicology. These comments will be answered by the respective project team in form of a Letter to the Editor, if deemed necessary and according to the publication policy of the journal.

 

Schmidt, K., Döhring, J., Kohl, C. et al. Arch Toxicol (2016) 90: 2287. doi:10.1007/s00204-016-1762-3, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00204-016-1762-3

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G-TwYST Interim Report available

15 February 2017

 

The G-TwSYT team completed a publicly available Interim report with information about the progress that has been made in the first 1.5 years of the project. The report can be downloaded here.

Value and pitfalls of stakeholderconsultation

17 January 2017

 

In 2013 the Dutch Commission on Genetic Modification (COGEM) published a topic report on alarming studies on the safety of GMOs. COGEM pointed out that while repetition of ‘alarming studies’ is sometimes the only way to reject or confirm the results, stakeholder participation during investigation may increase its social robustness.

In a letter sent to the Secretary of State of Infrastucture and Environment on January 11, 2017 COGEM adds some reflections on the value and possible pitfalls of stakeholder participation based on experiences in and results of the GRACE project.

The COGEM letter states that the involvement of stakeholders in this project has been meticulous and transparent and has finally contributed to the validity of the results also from a broader social perspective. However, COGEM also noticed that some stakeholders were too fixated on their own arguments and vision, that reflection and interaction became difficult. According to COGEM this situation significantly hampered the achievement of broadly supported conclusions. On the basis of this experience COGEM also proposed some guidelines for improving such processes.

 

Read the full letter >

Scientific quality criteria (2)

28 November 2016

 

So far, we have received comments on the proposed scientific quality criteria from the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, Germany (BVL) on October 5th, 2016. The comments can be downloaded here.

 

The G-TwYST research team responded to the BVL comments on November 28th, 2016. The response can be downloaded here.