Airing the gene technology issue online

September 26, 2012
Airing the gene technology issue online
Credit: Thinkstock

According to polls, the average European consumer regards gene technology, particularly for food production, as controversial. To help alleviate consumer concern, a European project has set up a website specifically to increase information communication on safety evaluation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The website at http://www.gmo-compass.org, set up by the EU project 'GMO communication and safety evaluation platform' (GMO-Compass), presents information on , assessment and management incorporated in the context of a general GMO debate.

Objectives were to increase the amount of knowledge-based information in public discussion and to provide comprehensive data geared to informed consumers. Through this, GMO-Compass aimed to increase with process transparency. Overall, a platform would be created to prompt informed discussion on 'green' technology.

A look at the website gives an idea of what GMO-Compass set out to achieve. Science-based information is presented in the form of articles and information grouped into subjects. Categories include news, grocery shopping and agri-biotechnology. Where applicable, searches are available such as for fruit and vegetables and in grocery.

There are pages on safety and regulations and a comprehensive database searchable by 130 crops and then by date and event. A search through this database selecting any of the crops reveals the company, trait changed, use of crop and current status regarding authorisation.

Also available is a GMO food database covering plants, foodstuffs, additives and enzymes. Information presented includes (on enzymes) function, application, and all-important labelling.

For future use, conclusions were reached about how to maximise the impact of information dissemination. Statistics have been collected on and this promises to aid optimisation. GMO-Compass has set up a comprehensive website for consumer information on GMO issues at all levels, a significant step in the quest to combine the best of genetic technology with more traditional food production approaches.

Explore further: Robust methods for GMO detection ready at hand

Related Stories

Robust methods for GMO detection ready at hand

November 10, 2010

A new Reference Report published today by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) lists 79 reference methods for GMO analysis which have been validated according to international standards. This Compendium, ...

GMO maize strain safe: EU food agency

June 30, 2009

A genetically modified strain of maize, banned in some EU countries, poses no risk to health or the environment, the European Food Safety Authority declared Tuesday.

US court orders GMO beets destroyed

December 1, 2010

A federal judge has ordered what is believed to be the first-ever destruction of a genetically modified crop in the United States, saying that the altered sugar beets were planted illegally.

Multiple approaches necessary to tackle world's food problems

February 18, 2011

Researchers need to use all available resources in an integrated approach to put agriculture on a path to solve the world's food problems while reducing pollution, according to a Penn State biologist. Changes in national ...

Recommended for you

Canada conservationist warns of 'cyber poaching'

February 25, 2017

Photographers, poachers and eco-tour operators are in the crosshairs of a Canadian conservationist who warns that tracking tags are being hacked and misused to harass and hunt endangered animals.

How proteins reshape cell membranes

February 24, 2017

Small "bubbles" frequently form on membranes of cells and are taken up into their interior. The process involves EHD proteins - a focus of research by Prof. Oliver Daumke of the MDC. He and his team have now shed light on ...

Neanderthal DNA contributes to human gene expression

February 23, 2017

The last Neanderthal died 40,000 years ago, but much of their genome lives on, in bits and pieces, through modern humans. The impact of Neanderthals' genetic contribution has been uncertain: Do these snippets affect our genome's ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.