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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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1-year feeding study with MON810 on ARTE

In October 2016 ARTE broadcasted "OGM - Mensonges et vérités" (GMOs - Lies and truths) on French and German Television. In this 100 minutes long documentary Frédéric Castaignède sheds light on genetically modified crops, the impact on farmers, biodiversity and human health. We have selected and translated a fragment in which G-TwYST project leader Prof Pablo Steinberg presents the results of the 1-year feeding study with MON810 maize in the GRACE project.

 

The documentary provides a ‘snapshot’ of the GRACE final Conference which took place on November 9-10 2015 in Potsdam, Germany. We refer to videos on the GRACE Youtube channel  for a full account.

 

Paper published describing the statistical approach for equivalence testing in G-TwYST

An open access paper describing the statistical approach for equivalence testing in G-TwYST has now been published in Food and Chemical Toxicology. The method was tested on data from the GRACE project, as described in this paper. We will now progress by applying the method in the statistical analyses of the G-TwYST feeding trials, to be reported first in the statistical reports as project deliverables.

Highlights

  • An equivalence testing method is proposed to assess the safety of regulated products
  • We combine data from a current study with test and control, and historical studies with assumedly safe reference products
  • The method is illustrated with animal feeding studies using genetically modified and reference maize varieties
  • A high statistical power of the equivalence test is the basis for the equivalence criterion
  • Generalized fiducial inference is used to integrate uncertainties from the historical and the current data

 

van der Voet H, Goedhart PW, Schmidt K (2017). Equivalence testing using existing reference data:  an example with genetically modified and conventional crops in animal feeding studies. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 109: 472-485. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2017.09.044

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.