Relevant European Institutions

JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE - The European Commission's in-house science service

Constantly updated Overview on GMO field trials in all EU member states (plants)
Deliberate Release and Placing on the EU Market of GMOs - GMO Register
Gives you a quick and rather up to date overview on deliberate releases of GMOs in all member states, which must all be notified to the EU, including short description of who does it where and why.

GMOs:  The number of genetically modified crops and the area cultivated with them are steadily increasing worldwide. In the EU, only one GM maize is currently cultivated but many other GMO crops are authorised for food and feed use. However, products derived from or containing GMOs are strictly controlled with a zero tolerance for unauthorised GMOs. 

Reference materials for GMO analysis: The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as food/feed needs to be authorised in Europe. Food/feed products containing more than 0.9% of GMOs have to be labelled (Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003) This labelling threshold applies for adventiously added GMOs, while GMOs added on purpose always need to be labelled. GMOs for which an authorisation procedure is pending or for which the authorisation has expired are allowed in European feed products up to a level of 0.1% (Regulation (EC) No 619/2011)

The JRC has also co-ordinated the study Scenarios for co-existence of genetically modified, conventional and organic crops in European agriculture (JRC May 2002) and continous this work with new studies: A Descriptive Analysis of Conventional, Organic and GM Crop and Certified Seed Production in the EU, 2008

ENGL and EURL – Two European partners in GMO detection
The European Network of GMO Laboratories (ENGL) plays an eminent role in the development, harmonisation and standardisation of means and methods for sampling, detection, identification and quantification of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in a wide variety of products, ranging from seeds, grains, to food and feed stuff. The network was inaugurated in Brussels on December 4th 2002 and it currently consists of 96 national enforcement laboratories, from all 27 EU Member States plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

Directorate General on Health and Food Safety
The DG SANTE (Health & Food Safety) is the principal responsible for the safety, risk assessment and approval of GMOs within the European Union. It is headed by Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis (2014-2019).
GMO page of DG SANTE

Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health
New Standing Committee Structure
Following the adoption of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January2002 setting out the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety, the regulatory committees consisting of representatives of the Member States that have a key role in decision-making on food safety issues were reorganised within a single new structure, the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health.
Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed: Genetically Modified Food and Feed and Environmental Risk

GMO Register: This search engine covers the EU register of GM food and feed (Regulation (EC) 1829/2003) and the GM products withdrawn from the market.

European Food Safety Authority EFSA
The primary responsibility of the Authority, which was established in 2002, is to provide scientific advice on all matters with a direct or indirect impact on food safety. The Authority will carry out assessments of risks to the food chain and indeed can carry out scientific assessment on any matter that may have a direct or indirect effect on the safety of the food supply, including matters relating to animal health, animal welfare and plant health. It will co-ordinate the assessment and approval procedure for new GMOs under the Food and Feed Regulation.
EFSA Panel on genetically modified organisms and its members

Advisory groups on the food chain
A group bringing together notably consumers, the food industry, retailers and farmers is being created to facilitate consultation and dialogue between the European Commission and European organisations on food safety policy.
Members of the European Consumer Committee (NGOs)

Directorate General on Research
The DG Research promotes Biotechnology research and in particular genetic engineering in agriculture. While it has no institutional role in the implementation of GMO legislation it is responsible for the funding of GMO research and PR and runs a promotional web-site on the issue.

European Environment Agency, EEA
The EEA plays no institutional role in the regulation of GMO, but has conducted two important environmental assessment studies.
Genetically modified organisms: The significance of gene flow through pollen transfer /March 2002)
Environmental assessment report No 2 (1999)
Chapter on GMOs

Co-Extra was an EU funded project of public and private sector scientists and PR agencies with the aim of introducing GMOs into European agriculture. It focusses on co-existence and traceability issues and the promotion of GMOs. It's web-site contains an overview by country, a list of events and scientific research programmes as well as regulatory news.
Final Report - CO-EXTRA (GM and non-GM supply chains: their co-existence and traceability)

Former Scientific Committees on Food Safety
In 2003 the 5 scientific committees giving the Commission scientific advice on food safety were transferred to the European Food Safety Authority as well as the Scientific Steering Committee's responsibilities on scientific advice on BSE/TSE.