STUDY: A Decade of EU-funded GMO Research

By Community Manager • November 07, 2017

The following is a press release from the Eurpean Commision announcing a report on 10 years of EU-funded GMO research. 

The book summarizes the results of 50 research projects addressing primarily the safety of GMOs for the environment and for animal and human health. Launched between 2001 and 2010, these projects received funding of €200 million from the EU and form part of a 25-year long research effort on GMOs.

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said "The aim of this book is to contribute to a fully transparent debate on GMOs, based on balanced, science–based information. According to the findings of these projects GMOs potentially provide opportunities to reduce malnutrition, especially in lesser developed countries, as well as to increase yields and assist towards the adaptation of agriculture to climate change. But we clearly need strong safeguards to control any potential risks. "

A publication for scientists, policy-makers and other stakeholders

This new publication aims to contribute to the debate on GMOs by disseminating the outcomes of research projects to scientists, regulatory bodies and to the public. It follows up previous publications on EU-funded research on GMO safety. Over the last 25 years, more than 500 independent research groups have been involved in such research.

According to the projects' results, there is, as of today, no scientific evidence associating GMOs with higher risks for the environment or for food and feed safety than conventional plants and organisms.

A wide range of projects to know more about the safety of GMOs

Many of the research projects described in the book were launched to address scientific questions in areas of known public concern about the potential environmental impact of GMOs, about food safety, and about the co-existence of GM and non-GM crops.

The book includes results from research projects working on:

  • developing analytical tools and methods for detecting GMOs in food and feed (GMOCHIPS, QPCRGMO) - supporting EU policies on labelling and traceability of GM food and feed;
  • developing new safety assessment approaches on the potential health effect of GM food (ENTRANSFOOD, GMOCARE, SAFOTEST, NOFORISK, GMOBILITY, GMSAFOOD);
  • crop improvement by genetic modification, such as resistance to pathogens – from fungi (EURICE) and viruses (TRANSVIR) to nematodes (NONEMA);
  • improving the sustainability of agriculture by enhancing the nitrogen use efficiency of crops (SUSTAIN);
  • managing gene flow, gene transfer and coexistence of GMO and non-GMO (ANGEL, TRANSBAC, SIGMEA, CO-EXTRA, TRANSCONTAINER);
  • assessing effects of GMO on biodiversity (BT-BIONOTA, ECOGEN, POTATOCONTROL).


Since 1982, the European Commission has invested over €300 million on research on the bio safety of GMOs

A decade of EU-funded GMO research (2001-2010):

EC-sponsored research on Safety of Genetically Modified Organisms (1985-2000)

See the full study here.

Posted on December 7, 2017
The term “GMO” typically refers to crops or animals that, through genetic engineering, have had a gene (or a few genes) from a different species inserted into their genome. This is by design to improve a crop or animal with genetic engineering. In fact, me and my colleagues recently published a paper on this very topic that addresses this very topic and gives more details on the plant selection practices used for GE crops.   However, you pick up on something very... Read More
Posted on December 7, 2017
Nearly all foods today have been genetically modified or altered in some way over thousands of years through selective breeding. However, there are only 10 commercially available GMO crops in the U.S: soybeans, corn (field and sweet), canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets, summer squash, papaya, potatoes and apples.   Below is a table outlining what year the nine crops became commercially available:   Squash 1995 Cotton 1996... Read More
Posted on November 17, 2017
When people refer to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), they are referring to precision plant breeding using genetic engineering. It allows plant breeders to take a desirable trait (like resistance to drought, insects, weeds, and disease) from one plant or organism and transfer it to the plant they want to improve, as well as make a change to an existing trait in a plant they are developing. You may have also heard of agricultural biotechnology or biotech seeds.... Read More
STUDY: There Is “Little Doubt” About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops
STUDY: The contribution of glyphosate to agriculture and potential impact of restrictions on use at the global level