Report of the Meeting of the Management Committee and Commission Services


19 January 2001, Brussels, Belgium



Representatives EU:
L. Miteh (SG), L. Breslin (DG RESEARCH E2 Head of Unit), B. Verachtert (DG RESEARCH E2; Scientific officer ENTRANSFOOD), M. Nielsen (DG RESEARCH), A. Boenke (DG RESEARCH), D. Bennink (DG RESEARCH), M. Cantley (DG RTD), C. Kessler (DG RTD), G. Apostolatos (DG RTD), T. Ingemansson (DG RTD E1), B. Thegeby (DG ENTR), N. Bandarro (DG AGRI), E. Willems (DG AGRI A1), M. Libeau (DGCCR/IPTS), C. Baudelet (DG ENV E1), D. Franzone (DG ENV E1), H. Hoffmann (DG SANCO), K, Madsen (DG SANCO), and D. Andre (DG SANCO E1).

Representatives ENTRANSFOOD:
H.A. Kuiper (RIKILT, NL; project co-ordinator), W. Hammes (Univ. Hohenheim, D; chair IDP), J.-M. Wal (INRA, F; chair WG1), K.-H. Engel (TU München, D; chair WG2), M. Miraglia (ISS, I; chair WG4), I. Knudsen (FDIR, DK; co-ordinator SAFOTEST), H. Noteborn (RIKILT, NL; co-ordinator GMOCARE / cluster co-ordinator), J. van der Vossen (TNO, NL; co-ordinator GMOBILITY), A. Holst-Jensen (NVI, N; co-ordinator QPCRGMOFOOD), H. Marvin (RIKILT, NL; dissemination co-ordinator) and M. Huveneers (RIKILT, NL; technical assistant).



14.30 Welcome and Introduction (L. Breslin)

14.45 European Network Safety of Genetically Modified Food (H. Kuiper)

15.00 New Methods for the Safety Testing of Transgenic Food (I. Knudsen)

15.10 New Methodologies for Assessing the Potential of Unintended Effects in Genetically Modified Food Crops (H. Noteborn)

15.20 Safety Evaluation of Horizontal gene Transfer from genetically modified Organisms to the Microflora of the Food Chain and Human Gut (J. van der Vossen)

15.30 Reliable, Standardised, Specific, Quantitative Detection of Genetically Modified Food (A. Holst-Jensen)

15.40 Discussion (all)

17.00 Close



The meeting was chaired by Barend Verachtert and started with a welcome and introduction by L. Breslin, who gave a brief outline of the function of the Thematical Network within the 5th Framework Quality of Life programme. He pointed out that ENTRANSFOOD will serve as a model for the next framework of the EU: FP6.

Subsequently, H.A. Kuiper gave an overview of the Thematical Network ENTRANSFOOD: organisation, goals, expected results, what has been done in the first year and what can be expected in the (near) future.

The four co-ordinators of the RTD-projects (I. Knudsen, H. Noteborn, J. van der Vossen and A. Holst-Jensen) presented the objectives and progress of their projects.

The presentations were followed by a general discussion;

Several EU representatives expressed their enthusiasm and the importance of the Network in general and for their own Directorate General specifically.

It was mentioned that in February there will be a vote for the final approval of a new Directive 90/220 and that there is already since June 99 a political agreement on the adoption of the common position concerning Traceability and Labelling.

Furthermore, it was concluded that the reliable methods for traceability are very important.

It was discussed that the concept of % weight by weight (used by the US) or % genome by genome (used in the EU) for labelling might pose problems in the near future.

The concept of substantial equivalence was discussed and considered as a valuable tool for safety assessment, despite criticisms.

Finally the question was posed what to do with information and projects that would be released during the course of the Network. The co-ordinator answered that this information, if possible, would be used as well and that principally, if agreed by the responsible DGs, new projects dealing with the subject would be welcome to be incorporated in the Network. In this framework a new project on the detection of GMOs using the microarray technology that has started this year, might be merged with ENTRANSFOOD. The responsible DGs promised to investigate the possibilities of integration of the project in ENTRANSFOOD.

Finally, L. Breslin thanked all those who are present for their interest and their contribution to a fruitful discussion and closed the meeting.