Examples of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are soya which has been made resistant to pesticides. Or corn which has been made resistant to insects. The soya and corn are made resistant by inserting gene constructs in the laboratory. These gene constructs can be composed of attached pieces of DNA of viruses, bacteria and other plants.

The government, in particular the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality is responsible for enforcing EU regulations with regard to GMOs:

  • Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 'European Regulation on genetically modified (GM) food and feed'
  • Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003 'European Regulation concerning the traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms and the traceability of food and feed products produced from genetically modified organisms'.

Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003

In Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 it is stipulated that products containing GMOs must be labelled as such. For unintended mixing with GMO batches, a threshold value of 0.9% has been set (as long as these GMOs are to GMP varieties permitted by the EU).

Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003

Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003 contains more rules related to the traceability of GMOs in food and feed products. It also stipulates that the manufacturer of GMO varieties which are permitted in the EU must supply an event-specific detection method for enforcement purposes.

These methods are sent to the EU-RL for GM Food and Feed (EU-RL/GMFF), Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy with the relevant reference materials. These methods are then evaluated within the European Network of GMO Laboratories (ENGL).

As a result of the above-mentioned regulation, Regulation (EC) No 1981/2006 lists which institutes are NRLs in the Member States and describes the tasks of these NRLs. In the Netherlands, Assisting the EURL by conducting ring tests for GMO detection method.