GMO COMPASS - Information on genetically modified organisms
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Stakeholder input wanted: survey on research needs for assessing GMO impacts 

Shaping the Future of GMO Research

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.

The aim of this survey is to identify which research needs should be prioritised, thereby contributing to the commissioning of research on the health, environment and economic impacts of GMOs.

The survey will close on 15th July 2015.

More information and access to the online survey

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Vitamins are essential as nutritional components and are indispensable for the maintenance of many metabolic processes.

They cannot be synthesised in the human body and have to be therefore taken up in sufficient amounts from food. An insufficient vitamin supply can lead to deficiency diseases.


  • Various foods and drinks are enriched with vitamins.
  • Vitamins are components of many food supplements, also in: ACE products
  • Some vitamins also play other roles as additives, for example as a colourings (vitamin B2) or antioxidant (vitamin C).
  • Also: supplements in animal feed.

If vitamins are added as supplements to produce a technological effect, they must be declared on the list of ingredients with their generic name and class of additive (e.g. for vitamin C: antioxidant, ascorbic acid and for vitamin B2: colouring, riboflavin).

Gene technology

There are various methods for production of vitamins: chemical synthesis, biotechnological methods with the help of microorganisms, extraction from plants or herbal material.

  • For some vitamins production methods have now been developed that use genetically modified microorganism:
    vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin C, beta-carotene as vitamin A precursor, biotin.
    These methods are used commercially to produce vitamins C, B2, B12 and biotin.
  • Vitamin E can be produced both biotechnically or from soya beans. For extractions from soya beans, it is probable that a certain percentage derives from genetically modified plants.
  • Many vitamins, especially the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, are attached to carrier molecules for better handling. Gene technological methods can be utilised for producing some of these carriers, e.g. starch, glucose, maltodextrin.
    Carriers are not legally considered to be foodstuffs and do not therefore have to be declared.

Labelling: Additives that are produced in a closed system with the help of genetically modified microorganisms do not have to be declared, providing that the specific additive has been purified and contains no microorganisms.

Vitamins, such as vitamin E, that are prepared directly from GM-plants have to be labelled as such. Whether this is still required when the product has been subjected to several processing steps has not been definitely clarified.


December 3, 2004 [nach oben springen]

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