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

The setting-up of this website was financially supported by the European Union within the European Commission’s Sixth Framework Programme from 1 January 2005 until 28 February 2007.

The European Commission and other EU agencies are not responsible for the content.
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Background information about current topics.



The issue of contradictory results of biosafety studies

The results of biosafety studies on GM crops are often controversially discussed in public debates. Michelle Marvier from Santa Clara University (USA) illuminates the reasons for conflicting study results and new approaches on how to manage such uncertainties and to improve the significance of biosafety research results.



An overview of European consumer polls on attitudes to GMOs
In the field and on the plate, gene technology is seen as controversial, particularly in Europe. The European Commission, as well as national institutes and agencies, regularly conduct polls in order to assay the general tendencies of consumers.



German ban on MON810 maize: will the courts now decide?

Following the ban on cultivating MON810 Bt maize in Germany, Monsanto is considering taking legal action. At the moment, it is not known how long the ban will be in force.



China plans to invest in GM crops R&D and consumer education
As reported in Science magazine, the government was expected to initiate a US$3.5 billion R&D programme in September on genetically modified plants.



"Find the wisdom to allow GM technology to flourish"
Interview with Prof. German Spangenberg, Research Director, Primary Industries Research Victoria, Australia, on drought-tolerant wheat and other GM crop innovations.



Agriculture in the 21st century - Results of the GMO Compass snapshot poll
With a quick survey on the European consumer portal GMO Compass, we wanted to capture the opinions on this subject on a larger scale.



Genetic engineering of cut flowers
The times have changed - today roses were not simply yellow, red or white. By means of gene technology roses are now able to produce blue pigments. But this is not all: in labs around the world, designer cut flowers are being created with exceptional colours, with prolonged shelf-life, with added fragrances or with built-in frost protection.



Preliminary studies raise hopes: Golden Rice works well!
Rice naturally contains only a negligible amount of beta-carotene, vitamin A deficiency is widespread in regions of the world where rice is a staple food. GMO Compass spoke to Ingo Potrykus, Prof. em., ETH Zurich who succeeded in 2000 in creating a rice cultivar that offers a metabolic precursor to vitamin A known as beta-carotene, the "Golden Rice".



GMO labelling of foodstuffs produced from animals – the discussion continues
According to European law, the meat, milk and eggs from animals which have been fed with genetically modified feed need not be identified specially. The GMO labelling requirement applies only to products which have been produced directly from genetically modified plants. Consumers’ groups and politicians repeatedly have criticized this legislation.



GM Crops in Australia – will the moratoria end?
he cultivation of GM crops is banned in all Australian states except Queensland. However, moratoria will expire in New South Wales and Victoria next year. A report written on behalf of the Australian government now supports the commercial use of GM plants to promote competitive agricultural production. This has raised debate on the future role of GM plants in Australia.



International study: consumers would buy GM products
Genetically modified foods have generated an intense debate in Europe and, as surveys demonstrate, consumer perceptions in the majority are negative. To test buying behaviours in a realistic setting, researchers conducted a practical experiment. The surprising result: the acceptance of GM foods is quite significant when they are cheaper than organic or conventionally produced foods.



GM plants no problem for the honey industry
Honeybees play an important role as pollinators for many plants. They fly from flower to flower, collecting nectar and pollen without paying any attention to field boundaries. If genetically modified Bt maize is grown, bees will certainly come into contact with the GM plants. Is there any impact on the honey production as a result? Scientists in Bavaria (Germany) have been investigating this question in a number of experiments.



Are GMOs Fuelling the Brazilian Future?
With the current rise in petrol prices, the use of crops for the production of bioethanol recently has attracted increasing attention. Brazil is one of the leading countries producing ethanol from the Saccharose of sugar cane. To further enhance the country’s biofuel production, scientists are working on new GM plants to provide heightened sugar yields or other improved characteristics.



Yes to Biotech – No to GM Food
A new Eurobarometer study on European attitudes to biotechnology reveals that most Europeans believe biotechnology will improve their lives – but a solid majority oppose GM foods. The latest figures add another piece of track to the rollercoaster of public opinion on GMOs in Europe.



Barley, Beer and Biotechnology
Barley is an ancient crop that has been used for food and beer for millennia. Over the last decade, scientists appear to have succeeded at achieving several crop improvement goals with genetic engineering. Find out how scientists have enhanced barley’s resistance to fungi and facilitated beer brewing. Field trials in Germany are underway, checking for unintended effects.



Farm Fresh Pharmaceuticals
Biopharming, or using transgenic plants as pharmaceutical factories, is one of the most controversial applications of plant genetic engineering. Tight bioconfinement is crucial for keeping pharma-crops from mixing with food crops. Europe’s cautious approach could be its key to success.



Study: GM Soy Dangerous for Newborns?
Russian researcher Irina Ermakova recently disclosed findings pointing to alarming effects of GM soy on baby rats. Is this proof of a health risk for humans as Dr. Ermakova claims? Scientists complain that her findings are not peer-reviewed and unlikely.



Safety evaluation: GM peas in Australia show unexpected effects
Do the findings confirm the effectiveness of safety evaluations for genetically modified foods and feeds? For critics, the results only prove that genetically modified plants are too unpredictable to reckon with.



"Plants for the Future"
What lies in store for European agriculture? The European Commission set out a research agenda for the future of agriculture in Europe. The document recommends using genetic engineering to overcome new challenges foreseen for the next 20 years.



The western corn rootworm: Coming to a maize field near you
A North American native, this major pest has been turning up in several European locales and is threatening to take a bite out of maize productivity throughout Europe. Genetic engineering has been used in the United States to develop rootworm resistant maize lines. Will transgenic maize be recruited in the fight against the rootworm in Europe?



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 Soybeans & Sustainability

Less soil erosion and fuel consumption: herbicide tolerant soybeans are promoting sustainable cultivation methods.


Glyphosate in European agriculture

Interview with a farmer

Glyphosate containing herbicides are not only used in fields with GM crops. They also allow conventional farmers to sow directly into stubble fields without ploughing. Glyphosate has replaced mechanical weed control in many crops and has had an important impact on agricultural practices and crop yields in Europe over the past few decades.

European Glyphosate Task Force

 GM Crops: Specific Information and Future Projects
August 13, 2009 [nach oben springen]

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