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The quality of the raw plants and the prepared diets will be controlled by analyzing nutritional (proximates, micronutrients) and deteriorating ingredients (mycotoxins, pesticides, metals), microbiological quality, and intended and unintended GMO which may affect the trial outcomes. Lists of essential analytes have already been identified within GRACE (see the GRACE study plan). Analyses shall be carried out in certified laboratories.

 

Transcriptome, proteome and metabolome analyses of the GM crop plant materials and conventional counterparts will be performed. The aim is to apply omics strategies to detect unintended effects in the GM crop plant materials. For the different types of omics studies (transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) well-established protocols are available and will be applied, similar to those adapted to maize grain currently used in the frame of the GRACE project. The same materials that have been used to prepare the animal feed will be analyzed.

 

Data collation and bioinformatics analysis

The data obtained from the analysis of plant material will be further analyzed by making use of well-established bioinformatic tools. An additional in-silico analysis will be applied to identify the genes, proteins or metabolites that have altered levels in the physiology of the GM plant versus the conventional counterpart and to further elucidate pos sible alterations in the plant physiology.
The results of omics studies will be correlated with the outcome of the compositional analysis of the respective GM and conventional plant materials.

 

The omics data will also be compared with those of other studies that were performed to identify unintended effects of the genetic modifications e.g. available in the literature or through other projects such as GRACE. The database CADIMA will compile the results obtained in safety assessment studies. G-TwYST will be able to integrate and reconsider outputs from GRACE and collate potential toxicity of the alterations found in the GM crop plants vs. conventional counterparts. Inclusion of this new set of data will increase the potency of the database, so that it can be used to assess new GMOs in the future.


 

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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.