Monitoring the Presence of GM Ingredients on the Irish Market, 2017
Authorised Genetically Modified (GM) food and food ingredients are allowed on the EU market once they comply with Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 and Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003. Labelling on any food product containing or consisting of authorised GM food ingredients is mandatory where the GM portion of the overall ingredient is higher than 0.9 %.
A ‘GM-free’ label indicates that products do not contain or are not produced using GM food ingredients and must not mislead the consumer as per Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.
In 2017, the Environmental Health Services of the Health Service Executive collected 58 food samples which were analysed by the Public Analyst’s Laboratory in Cork for the presence of GM ingredients. Samples were screened for 35S promoter (P35S) and nos terminator (T-nos) DNA sequences and GM events identified and quantified where possible.
Table 1 shows the results of this annual monitoring. Two samples were not compliant: (1) a tofu sample that contained 0.2 % of the authorised GM event GTS 40-3-2 RupR but was labelled as ‘GM-free’, and therefore deemed not compliant with Regulation 1169/2011; and (2) a maize sample containing >0.9 % of two authorised GM events (NK603 and Mon 810) which was not labelled accordingly. The remaining 56 samples (96.6 %) were compliant with EU law on GM food.