Proficiency tests

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission was established as European Union Reference Laboratory for Genetically Modified Food and Feed (EURL GMFF) by Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003. The JRC is also mandated as EURL GMFF by Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules; the latter Regulation is gradually being replaced by Regulation (EU) 2017/625.

The Official Controls Regulation tasks the EURLs with the organisation of regular proficiency tests (also called comparative testing) for National Reference Laboratories and, if necessary, for other official laboratories, with an appropriate follow-up of such proficiency tests in accordance, where available, with internationally accepted protocols and informing the Commission and the Member States of the results and follow-up to the inter-laboratory comparative testing or proficiency tests.

The main objective of these PTs is to assess the analytical capabilities of nominated National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) and Official Control Laboratories (OCLs) in the determination of the mass fraction of GM events in food, feed and seed samples.

Participation to the PTs of the EURL GMFF is open to NRLs in the EU (and EFTA countries) and obligatory for those having a mandate for this type of analysis under the Official Controls Regulation. Participation is also open to appointed OCLs in the field of food, feed and seed compliance for the presence of GMOs. Participation is free of charge and will be announced by email. Participation of control laboratories from Third Countries may be granted upon request, however, such participants are reminded that these PTs are specifically designed for EU laboratories, require experience in GM event-specific quantification and can be challenging.

Test materials and measurands

General outline of the exercise

 

Proficiency test Description Test items GM species Tests to perform Status 1 GM events quantified Report
EURL-GMFF-PT-01/19 Determination of GMOs in maize tortilla chips and in maize flour T1: Maize tortilla chips Maize All GM maize Planned (registrations open on 28/02/2019)    
T2: Maize flour Maize 1507, 4114, 59122    
EURL-GMFF-PT-02/19 Determination of GMOs in animal feed and in soybean flour T1: Animal feed Several species All GMOs Planned (registrations open on 30/05/2019)    
T2: Soybean flour Soybean TBD    
EURL-GMFF-PT-01/18 Determination of GM maize MON810 and MON89034 in maize bread and GM soybean 68416 in soybean flour T1: Maize bread Maize All GM Maize Completed MON810 and MON89034 maize Report
T2: 100 % Soybean flour Soybean All GM Soybean 68416 soybean
EURL-GMFF-PT-02/18 Determination of GM soybean 40-3-2 in pig feed and maize Bt11 and soybean MON87701 in a maize/soybean mixture T1: Pig feed Maize , soybean All GM soybean and GM maize Completed 40-3-2 soybean  
T2: Maize/soybean mixture Maize, soybean All GM soybean and GM maize Bt11 maize and MON87701 soybean
EURL-GMFF-CT-02/17 Determination of GM Soybean 40-3-2 in Chicken Feed and Soybean Flour T1: Chicken feed Soybean 40-3-2, 68416, MON89788 Completed 40-3-2 soybean Report
T2: 100 % Soybean flour Soybean 40-3-2, 68416, MON89788 40-3-2 soybean
EURL-GMFF-CT-01/17 Determination of GM soybean in soya milk and GM maize in maize flour T1: Soya milk powder Soybean 44406, CV127, MON87708 Completed 44406 soybean Report
T2: 100 % Maize flour Maize VCO-1981, MON810, NK603 VCO-1981 maize
EURL-GMFF-CT-02-16 Determination of GM Oilseed Rape 73496 and GT73 in Rapeseed Cake and GM Soybean MON89788 in Soybean Flour T1: Rapeseed cake Oilseed rape 73496, GT73, MON88302 Completed 73496 and GT73 oilseed rape Report
T2: 100 % Soybean flour Soybean 44406, MON87701, MON89788 MON89788 soybean
EURL-GMFF-CT-01-16 Comparative Testing Report on the Detection and Quantification of GM Events in Mexican Tortilla and Maize Flour T1: Mexican tortillas Maize All authorised GM maize Completed 1507 and MIR162 maize Report
T2: 100 % Maize flour Maize 1507, MIR162, 40278 40278
EURL-GMFF-CT-02-15 Detection and quantification of GM events in instant soup and soybean flour T1: Instant soup Not specified All GMOs Completed MON88302 oilseed rape Report
T2: 100 % Soybean flour Soybean MON89788, 68416, 81419 81419 maize
EURL-GMFF-CT-01-15 Detection and quantification of GM events in rice noodles and soybean flour T1: Food flour Not specified All GMOs Completed 356043 soybean Report
T2: 100 % Soybean flour Soybean 68416, A5547, MON87705 68416 soybean
EURL-GMFF-CT-02-14 Detection and quantification of GM events in chicken feed and maize flour (40278 maize, 40-3-2 soybean) T1: Chicken feed Maize, soybean Maize MON810, MON89034, 40278; soybean MON87701, 68416, 40-3-2 Completed 40278 maize and 40-3-2 soybean Report part II
T2: 100 % Maize flour Maize MON810, MON89034, 40278 maize 40278 maize Report
EURL-GMFF-CT-01-14 Detection and Quantification of GM Events in Feedstuff and Soybean Powder (MON 88017 maize, NK603 maize, 40-3-2 soybean, MON 89788 soybean) T1: Animal feed Maize, soybean Maize Bt11, MON88017, MON87460, NK603, 40278; soybean MON89788, MON87708, 305423, 40-3-2, A2704 Completed MON88017 and NK603 maize, 40-3-2 and MON89788 soybean Report
T2: 100 % Soybean flour Soybean All authorised GM soybean MON89788 soybean
EURL-GMFF-CT-02-13 Detection and Quantification of GM Events in Rice Noodles (356043 soybean) T1: Rice noodles Soybean All GMOs Completed 356043 soybean Report
T2: Rice noodles Soybean All GMOs 356043 soybean
EURL-GMFF-CT-01-13 Detection and Quantification of GM Events in Biscuit Powder (98140 maize, MON 810 maize, MON 863 maize) T1: Biscuit powder Maize All authorised GM Maize Completed 98140, MON863 and MON810 maize Corrigendum
T2: Biscuit powder Maize All authorised GM Maize 98140, MON863 and MON810 maize Report
EURL-GMFF-CT-02-12 Detection and Quantification of GM Events in Compound Feedstuff (40-3-2 soybean, MON 88017 maize) T1: Animal feed Maize, soybean Maize MON810, MON89034, 40278; soybean MON87701, 68416, 40-3-2 Completed MON88017 maize and 40-3-2 soybean Report
T2: Animal feed Maize, soybean Maize MON810, MON89034, 40278; soybean MON87701, 68416, 40-3-2 MON88017 maize and 40-3-2 soybean
EURL-GMFF-CT-01-12 Quantification of Maize Line DAS-59122-7 and Oilseed rape Line GT73 (RT73) T1: Genomic DNA level 1 Maize, oilseed rape 59122 maize, GT73 oilseed rape Completed 59122 maize and GT73 oilseed rape Report
T2: Genomic DNA level 2 Maize, oilseed rape 59122 maize, GT73 oilseed rape 59122 maize and GT73 oilseed rape
EURL-GMFF-CT-02-11 Detection and Quantification of Maize Events GA21, TC1507 and MIR604 T1: 100 % Maize flour Maize 3272, Bt11, Bt176, 59122, GA21, MIR604, MON810, MON863, NK603, 1507 Completed GA21, 1507 and MIR604 maize Report
T2: 100 % Maize flour Maize Idem GA21, 1507 and MIR604 maize
EURL-GMFF-CT-01-11 Detection and Quantification of Soybean Event 40-3-2 T1: 100 % Soybean flour Soybean 40-3-2 Completed 40-3-2 soybean Report
T2: 100 % Soybean flour Soybean 40-3-2 40-3-2 soybean
EURL-GMFF-CT-02-10 Detection and Quantification of Maize Event MON 810 T1: 100 % Maize flour Maize MON810 Completed MON810 maize Report
T2: 100 % Maize flour Maize MON810 MON810 maize
EURL-GMFF-CT-01-10 Detection and Quantification of Maize (NK603 maize) T1: 100 % Maize flour Maize NK603 Completed NK603 maize Report
T2: 100 % Maize flour Maize NK603 NK603 maize

1 For planned PTs, the registrations are open during approximately 2 weeks, dispatch of the PT samples is done 2 weeks later, and test results should be submitted 6 weeks thereafter. The registration dates mentioned are preliminary and may change when needed.

 

Test materials and measurands
The EURL GMFF organises two proficiency tests per year since 2010. Each PT involves two test items (samples) to be analysed for the presence and the mass fraction of GM events that are authorised in the EU or for which the authorisation is pending (according to Regulation (EU) No 619/2011). Up to 2013, the two test items consisted of the same matrix and contained the same GM events, but in different mass fractions. Since 2014, the test items of each PT are of a different matrix and contain different GM events. One of the test item matrices (T1) is often difficult and complex (e.g. compound feed, highly processed food) and challenges the analytical capabilities of the laboratories, particularly for the extraction of DNA in a sufficient quantity and quality, and the other one (T2) is generally easier to analyse (e.g. seed flour).


General outline of the exercise
The EURL GMFF operates under ISO/IEC 17043 accreditation as proficiency test provider. The Table provides an overview of the PTs organised so far and those that are planned

Participants are requested to perform the requested tests (see Table) using the method of their choice, and to report the mean of their measurement results, the associated expanded measurement uncertainty and coverage factor. From 2018, also a compliance statement is requested for the test item. Participants have to provide details about their testing in an online questionnaire. Detailed instructions will be sent together with the test items.

The reported results are analysed and the performance of each laboratory is compared with the assigned value for each measurand using z scores. Additional performance scores may be calculated and reported for indicative purposes, e.g. to include an assessment of the reported measurement uncertainties. NRL laboratories who have obtained an unsatisfactory z score for any of the measurements are requested to perform a root-cause analysis and communicate the outcome to the EURL GMFF.

 

 

 

 

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