GMO COMPASS - Information on genetically modified organisms
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Stakeholder with interests in the risk and/or benefit assessment of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are invited to take part in an online survey.

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Possible application of gene technology Labelling
Raw material GM maize yes
Vitamins, produced with the aid of GM micro-organisms no


Description of product

Cornflakes, the popular breakfast cereal, are composed mainly of cored maize which has been milled to maize grits or flakes. The grits are then cooked together with brown sugar, salt and malt syrup to a porridge-like mass, the yellow-brown colour of which is brought about by caramelisation. The mass then is pressed into small, flat flakes and roasted. Often, cornflakes are enriched with vitamins and minerals.

Possible application of gene technology

Applications of gene technology are possible in the following ingredients that commonly are found in cornflakes. However, the extent to which a particular product is affected by these possibilities cannot be stated with certainty:

  • raw material maize / maize grits:
    maize may be composed of a specific portion of genetically modified maize, particularly when raw materials are imported from the USA or Argentina. The probable presence of GM maize in products will increase in the case that GM maize becomes more widely cultivated in the EU.
    To date, GM maize is not used as the raw material for foodstuffs in the EU. However, accidental admixtures of GM to conventional maize are possible. As a rule, this portion remains under the valid labelling threshold of 0.9 per cent.
  • vitamins: in some cases, produced with the aid of genetically modified organisms.
  • many vitamins, particularly the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, are affixed to carriers in order to facilitate their handling. Applications of gene technology are possible in the case of some of these carriers, e.g. starch, glucose, maltodextrine. Carriers are not legally classified as foodstuff and therefore are exempt from declaration.
  • plant-based fats
  • sugar from GM sugar beets
  • emulgators such lecithin

Labelling: Cornflakes are subject to labelling if they are produced from genetically modified maize or contain ingredients from GMOs.

 GMO Database
GM Food and Feed: Authorization in the EU
GMO Database: Contains information on every GM plant that has been approved or is awaiting authorisation in the EU.
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