The emergence of value-enhanced grains and oilseeds, development of niche markets for non-biotech commodities and the establishment of new regulatory requirements by U.S. trading partners has created a greater need for product differentiation in the marketplace. To this end, market participants are relying, in part, on product testing to obtain accurate information about products in the marketing chain and to comply with the new market demands. The efficiency of the marketing system will, therefore, depend on the availability of accurate and reliable testing.
To help meet the market’s need for reliable testing, GIPSA offers a Proficiency Program for testing of biotechnology-derived grains and oilseeds. The purpose of this program whose is to help those organizations testing for biotechnology-derived grains and oilseeds improve their testing capability and reliability. Through this program, GIPSA is improving the overall performance of testing for biotechnology-derived grains and oilseeds.
Biotechnology-Derived Grains and Oilseeds: Grains and oilseeds that have been altered using recombinant DNA technology (genetic engineering) to modify agronomic and/or quality characteristics.
Non-Biotechnology Grains and Oilseeds: Grains and oilseeds that have not been modified through modern biotechnology.
Control Samples: Samples that do not contain biotechnology-derived grain or oilseeds
Fortified Samples: Samples of non-biotechnology grains or oilseeds to which a pre-determined quantity of biotechnology-derived grains or oilseeds has been added.
The GIPSA Proficiency Program seeks to improve the reliability of testing for biotechnology-derived grains and oilseeds by providing participants with the means to assess their capabilities and identify areas for improvement.
Participation: Any organization providing testing or testing for biotechnology-derived grains and oilseeds may participate in this voluntary Program.
Grains/Oilseeds Tested: The Program includes biotechnology-derived corn and soybeans commercially produced in the U.S. The Program will be expanded to include other crops as additional biotechnology events are commercialized.
Samples: GIPSA has developed and validated a procedure to prepare ground samples containing biotechnology events that is satisfactory for the purposes of this program.
GIPSA will mail samples on a bi-annual basis at the participant’s request.
Each participant will receive 6 ground samples (approximately 5 grams each): 4 corn samples and 2 soybean samples. The samples will consist of either control or fortified samples, or both. The fortified samples will contain a mixture of biotechnology-derived varieties that have been commercialized in the U.S.
The corn samples may contain any combination of the following events: T25 , Bayer, MON810, GA21, NK603, Bt11, MON863, Herculex , TC1507, Herculex RW, Event 3272, MIR604, MON88017, MON89034, and MIR162.
The soybean samples may contain any combination of the following: Roundup Ready TM , Roundup Ready II TM , A2704-12 (Liberty Link TM), and DP305423.
Results: Participants will provide either qualitative results, quantitative results, or any combination of both, and the testing technology used (i.e., protein-based, PCR, etc.).
For each round of samples, a date will be specified for submission of results. Results received after the specified date will not be included in the summary report.
Reports: Each participant will receive a participant code to identify their particular results. The identity of the participants will only be reflected in the report at the participant’s request. A report will be posted on the USDA/GIPSA Biotechnology web page summarizing performance using the participant code to identify particular results.
Participants in the GIPSA Proficiency Program must provide the following information by letter or e-mail to the GIPSA Biotechnology Program Manager listed below:
- Participant name and address.
- Participant contact person.
- Contact telephone number.
- Contact fax number.
- Contact e-mail address.
For more information on this program or to participate, contact Mani Ramaswamy at 816-891-0418, or by e-mail at FGIS-CSPP@usda.gov.