New ISO standard for detecting genetically modified organisms in food

March 28, 2006

Geneva, Mar 2006

Knowing if a product contains material derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and if so in what quantities, is a concern for many consumers, businesses and legislators. A new ISO standard that gives general requirements for identifying and quantifying genetically modified materials in foods promises to bring transparency to this issue.

ISO 246, Foodstuffs – Methods of analysis for the detection of genetically modified organisms and derived products – General requirements and definitions, lists the following steps that need to be taken after sample collection for analysis:

  • Nucleic acids or proteins are extracted from the test portion;

  • Extracted analytes are further purified;

  • Quantified (if necessary); diluted (if necessary); and,

  • Analyzed using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or other procedures.

The standard's main focus is on the PCR based methodology, a precise method for generating unlimited copies of specific fragment of DNA, but methods using protein as the analytical target are also covered.

It also comprises validation of methods and a check-list of what information the test reports must cover and gives guidelines for laboratory set-up including:

  • Procedural requirements;

  • Laboratory design;

  • Personnel regulations;

  • Apparatus and equipment maintenance; and,

  • Materials and reagents used for analysis.

ISO 246 specifies how to use the standards for protein analysis (ISO 21572), nucleic acid extraction (ISO 21571), qualitative nucleic acid analysis (ISO 21569) and quantitative nucleic acid analysis (ISO 21570) and their relationship in the analysis of genetically modified organisms in foodstuffs.

Though this standard had been established for food matrices, it could also be applied to other areas such as seeds, feed or plant samples from the environment.

ISO 246 was prepared by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) technical committee CEN/TC 5, Food analysis – Horizontal methods, in collaboration with ISO/TC 34, Food products. The standard costs 84 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat (see below).

Enquiries about orders:
Ms. Sonia Rosas Friot
Marketing Services
Tel. +41 22 749 03 36
Fax +41 22 749 09 47
E-mail sales@iso.org

Press contact:
Ms. Antoinette Price
Journalist and Assistant
Editor, ISO Focus
Public Relations
Tel. +41 22 749 01 11
Fax +41 22 733 34 30
E-mail price@iso.org

International Organization for Standardization -- ISO
Item source

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE
Academic Director (Primary) ST MARYS UNIVERSITY, TWICKENHAM
Vice-Chancellor MASSEY UNIVERSITY
Operations Support Administrator CAMBRIDGE ASSESSMENT

Most Commented

Elderly woman looking up at sky

A recent paper claims that the quality of researchers declines with age. Five senior scientists consider the data and how they’ve contributed through the years

A keyboard with a 'donate' key

Richard Budd mulls the logic of giving money to your alma mater

Woman tearing up I can't sign

Schools and universities are increasingly looking at how improving personalities can boost social mobility. But in doing so, they may be forced to choose between teaching what is helpful, and what is true, says David Matthews

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration 19 May 2016

Tim Blackman’s vision of higher education for the 21st century is one in which students of varying abilities learn successfully together

Otto illustration (5 May 2016)

Craig Brandist on the proletarianisation of a profession and how it leads to behaviours that could hobble higher education