Monitoring the prevalence of genetically modified (GM) maize in commercial animal feeds and food products in Turkey
Türkeç, Aydın and Lucas, Stuart J. and Karlık, Elif (2015) Monitoring the prevalence of genetically modified (GM) maize in commercial animal feeds and food products in Turkey. (Accepted/In Press)
BACKGROUND: EU legislation strictly controls use of genetically modified (GM) crops in food and feed products, and requires them to be labelled if the total GM content is greater than 9 g.kg-1 (for approved GM crops). We screened maize-containing food and feed products from Turkey to assess the prevalence of GM material. RESULTS: With this aim, 83 food and feed products – none labelled as containing GM material – were screened using multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for four common GM elements (35S/NOS/bar/FMV). Of these, 18.2% of feeds and 6% of food samples tested positive for one or more of these elements, and were subjected to event-specific PCR to identify which GMOs they contained. Most samples were negative for the approved GM events tested, suggesting that they may contain adventitious GM contaminants. One sample was shown to contain an unapproved GM event (MON810, along with GA21) at a concentration well above the statutory labelling requirement. CONCLUSION: Current legislation has restricted the penetration of GM maize into the Turkish food industry but not eliminated it, and the proliferation of different GM events is making monitoring increasingly complex. Our results indicate that labelling requirements are not being followed in some cases.
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