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A affordable and flexible 3-module system for detecting GMO

Modules 1–3 can be combined in any way to suit your individual requirements and to minimise your costs. All GMO analyses comply with Section 64 Food and Fodder Code (LFGB), i.e. with the standard reference methods contained in the Community Reference Laboratory (CRL).

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Qualitative GMO screening (module 1)

GMO screening provides a rapid and inexpensive yes/no response to the presence of GMO. It is therefore suitable to determine GMO contamination on short notice, e.g. during incoming goods inspections.

A negative GMO screening proves the absence of any genetically modified plants in the sample with a detection threshold of 0.01–0.1 % GMO, depending on the degree of processing in the sample.

GMO identification should follow a positive screening result in order to determine whether the detected GMO is among the approved types. GMO quantification to review the threshold value for statutory labelling requirements can then be performed after this analysis.

How is GMO screening performed?

GMO plants carry DNA sequences that under natural circumstances would not be present and hence are identified only in genetically modified plants. These sequences were added artificially and can therefore be used in detection. The most important screening elements are listed here.

Screening Element Description
P-35S Promotor sequence from the cauliflower mosaic virus
T-NOS Terminator sequence in the nopalin-synthase gene from the bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens
pFMV Promotor from the figwort mosaic virus
CTP2-CP4EPSPS Transition from chloroplast-transit peptide to the gene for 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase from Arabidopsis thaliana and Agrobacterium sp.; resistant to the herbicide Roundup-Ready (glyphosate)
cry1Ab/Ac Synthetic fusion gene; enables insect resistance
bar Gene that enables resistance to the active substance glufosinate (LibertyLink™ and Basta®)
pat Gene that enables resistance to the active substance glufosinate (LibertyLink™ and Basta®)
nptII Neomycin phosphotransferase

Our laboratory also has methods to detect other screening elements that can be used as necessary.

Detection of several screening elements must be combined in order to identify all GMO types approved in the EU and to confirm absence of GMO in the product. This multiple screening also detects unauthorised GMO types.

Soy products

The diversity of screening elements means that quadruple screening is recommended to detect most GMO lines in soy products.
Detection of: P-35S, T-NOS, pFMV, cry1Ab/Ac

Maize products

Triple screening will identify all standard GMO maize types.
Detection of: P-35S, T-NOS, pFMV, cry1Ab/Ac

Rape products

The significant diversity of GMO rape lines necessitates quintuple screening. Positive P-35S screening findings can be tested for natural infection of the sample with cauliflower mosaic virus, provided no other screening elements are present.
Detection of: bar, P-35S-pat, CTP2-CP4EPSPS, P-35S and T-NOS.

Other GMO plants

Our laboratory routinely performs other GMO screenings for wheat, flax, sugar beet, rice and potato products.

Specific identification of the GMO type (module 2)

A positive screening result should be followed by identification of the GMO line to unequivocally trace the contamination source and to distinguish between approved and unauthorised GMO types.

Products containing unauthorised GMO types are not fit for market and must be withdrawn. There is no threshold.

We currently offer the following analyses (others on request):


  • RoundupReady (GTS-40-3-2/MON-04032-6)
  • RoundupReady 2 Yield (MON89788)
  • LibertyLink (A2704-12)
  • DP-305423-1


  • Falcon GS40/90
  • GT73 (RT73)


  • LL Rice 62
  • LL Rice 601


  • YieldGard (Mon 810)
  • MON88017
  • Bt 11
  • LibertyLink (T14, T25)
  • Maximizer (Bt176)
  • RoundupReady (GA 21)
  • RoundupReady (NK 603)
  • MON 863
  • StarLink (CBH-351)


  • FP967/CDCTriffid

Quantification of GMO fractions (module 3)

The identification of genetic modifications in GMO screening (module 1) or specific GMO detection responses (module 2) does not automatically mean that the analysed food or fodder needs to be declared.

Mandatory labeling is exempted if the contamination with an approved GMO was coincidental and technically unavoidable and the GMO fractions account for less than 0.9% GMO relative to the matching ingredient. Deliberate addition of GMO (also below a 0.9% fraction) is always subject to mandatory declaration.

Real-time PCR technology (RT-PCR) is used to quantify GMO fractions. Combining Module 3 with Modules 1 or 2 minimises your costs, as the comparatively expensive process of GMO quantification is only possible following upstream, qualitative detection.


The EU Food Labelling Regulation states that food and fodder must be labelled if they contain GMO fractions, i.e. consist of GMO, irrespective of the actual GMO amount of the fraction itself.

A threshold of 0.9% GMO fraction relative to the respective ingredient in the food/fodder applies to unintentional, coincidental and technically unavoidable contamination with GMO approved in the EU (so GMO soy relative to aggregate soy content; Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003).

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Fellbach wird neuer Laborstandort
Nach zweijähriger Planungs- und Umbauphase entstand in Fellbach das neue Labor der SYNLAB Analytics & Services Germany GmbH.
Aug 10, 2018 Continue
SYNLAB stellt aus: Treffen Sie uns im September auf der DVT Vortragstagung in Berlin und auf dem Deutschen Obst und Gemüse Kongress 2018 in Düsseldorf

Weitere Informationen zu unserem Firmenstand ,den jeweiligen Veranstaltern und Themenschwerpunkten erhalten Sie hier.

Jul 20, 2018 | Food Continue
Neue EU-Öko-Verordnung beschlossen – gültig ab 01.01.2021

Zum zweiten Mal seit Inkrafttreten der ersten EU-Öko-Verordnung 1992 wird das Bio-Recht komplett reformiert. Die Verordnung (EU) 2018/848 des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates vom 30. Mai 2018 „über die ökologische/biologische Produktion und die Kennzeichnung von ökologischen/biologischen Erzeugnissen sowie zur Aufhebung der Verordnung (EG) Nr. 834/2007 des Rates“ tritt am 17.06.2018 in Kraft. Sie wird ab dem 01.01.2021 gelten.

Der Gesetzgeber will damit dem starken Zuwachs des Bio-Angebots Rechnung tragen. So sollen künftig z.B. auch für Bioprodukte aus Nicht-EU-Ländern dieselben strengen Standards gelten wie für Bio-Erzeugnisse aus EU-Ländern. Einheitliche Kontrollverfahren innerhalb der EU sollen Bio-Produkte sicherer und nachvollziehbarer für den Verbraucher machen. Der Einsatz von ökologischem Saatgut soll vereinfacht werden und so zu mehr Vielfalt im ökologischen Ackerbau beitragen.

Bis 2021 muss die neue Verordnung aber noch durch nachgelagerte Rechtsakte komplettiert werden. Diese betreffen Regeln, etwa zu Ställen und Ausläufen für Bio-Tiere, den Listen für Bio-Betriebsmittel oder -Lebensmittelzutaten sowie präzise Anforderungen an die Öko-Kontrolle.

Die aktuelle EU-Öko- Verordnung 2018/848 finden Sie hier.

Unsere Experten stehen Ihnen für Fragen zur Analytik von Bio-Produkten gern zur Verfügung. Schreiben Sie uns einfach eine E-Mail an

Jun 15, 2018 | Food Continue
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