GMO Capacity Building
Over the past decade the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) has amassed considerable expertise on GMO analysis. Today the Institute is proactively spreading this knowledge internationally to help build global capacity for GMO detection, identification and quantification.
Spreading GMO expertise at European level
For the past 10 years the Institute has been host to and coordinator of the European Network of GMO Laboratories (ENGL). This is an European network of enforcement laboratories between whom there is intense scientific debate about sampling, GMO detection, control samples etc. with the aim of solving technical issues, achieving scientific advancement and harmonisation of approaches in a very complex area. This network covers all 27 EU Member States and comprises more than 70 national laboratories and observers from non-EU countries. Its aim is to harmonise and standardise the methods for sampling, detecting, identifying and quantifying GMOs at international level.
Workshops and training sessions on GMO analysis have been regularly organised by the Institute with a view to increase international collaboration, cooperation and harmonisation at European level.
Due to increasing demand for training from non-EU countries, the Institute launched a project on networking, enlargement and capacity building to foster the harmonisation of GMO analysis at a global level. The operation of the ENGL is presented as a model for building similar networks in other parts of the world and the Institute plays a proactive part in spreading knowledge, experience and best practice.
Collaborative projects for dissemination of knowledge are also set up with the European Commission body for assisting partner countries on the approximation and implementation of EU legislation (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange - TAIEX) and with the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
The first Global Conference on GMO Analysis was organised by the Institute in 2008 and brought together 600 specialists from 70 countries worldwide. For the first time, the GMO detection community had a global platform for scientific exchange and the chance to strengthen collaboration among laboratories from all over the world.