GMO COMPASS - Information on genetically modified organisms
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Coffee

 

 
Research Herbicide tolerance, insect resistance, reduced caffeine content
Field trials EU 1
USA, India
Approval None
Perspectives The commercial use of GM coffee cannot be expected in the foreseeable future.

 

Cultivation

Coffee, originally from Ethiopia, is cultivated today mostly in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. In 2005, Brazil, the leader in coffee production, harvested 2.18 million tonnes of coffee, which represents almost a third of global production. Coffee is grown on more than ten million hectares world wide. Losses are due primarily to pests and weeds.

There are numerous types of coffee.

The following are commercially important:

  • Robusta (Coffea canephora), a hardy variety from central Africa that grows well in a tropical climate

  • Arabica (Coffea arabica), a more delicate variety from higher regions

 

Utilisation

Coffee is used to prepare the beverage of the same name. The roasted and ground beans are steeped in water. The main importers of coffee are the USA followed by Germany, France and Italy. The highest per-capita consumption of coffee is found in Finland and Sweden.

 

Gene technology: aims in research and development

Agronomic traits

Weed management

Resistance to pests

Adaptation to factors of climate and location

  • resistance to drought and cold

Quality traits

Modified composition of contents

  • The reduction of caffeine content by the suppression of the gene that is responsible for the formation of caffeine (antisense orientation) or through the transfer of a gene from a bacterium that breaks down caffeine

Plant development

  • delay of ripening through the reduction of ethylene production by the coffee plant

  • yield enhancement

Field trials with GM coffee

EU
Applications 1
Countries France
Period 1998
Traits Herbicide tolerance, insect resistance
Worldwide
USA 3
Period 1999
Other countries India

 


An EU Research Project

What are the risks of growing GM crops?

What are the benefits?

Numerous studies have addressed the potential impacts of genetically modified (GM) plants. Yet the existing evidence on the effects of GM plants is often contradictory and the quality of scientific research varies widely.

Therefore, the GRACE project will establish new tools for assessing the quality of existing studies and will conduct comprehensive reviews to identify health, environmental and socio-economic impacts of GM plants.

More information

 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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