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Traceability of DNA fragments throughout the food chain by DNA/PNA technologies. Application to NOVEL FOODS

 

(Contract n QLK1-2000-01658)

 

Food safety has become a priority in Europe, and of even greater importance is the problem of the safety of products containing Genetically Modified Organism. This topic is discussed in the White Paper on Food Safety released by the European Commission, proposing a new legal framework to cover the entire food chain. It aims to establish a high level of consumer health protection and assign defined levels of primary liability for those involved in agro-food and agro-industrial production. Verification and control of such a policy requires the ability to trace raw materials at different stages and steps throughout the food chain. It also requires the ability to assess risk deriving from the impact of new technology, including modern techniques, taking into account that the precautionary principle should be applied when necessary. The aim of the DNA-TRACK project is to develop scientific and socioeconomical measures to detect DNA of alien origin (including DNA from GMOs) at different levels in the food chain. This goal will be pursued with a completely new scientific and technical approach based on PCR techniques assisted by complementary microarray and PNA technologies.

 

Coordinator: Nelson Marmiroli

University of Parma

Parma, Italy