The European Union (EU) Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) recently reported finding an unapproved genetically modified (GM) flax/linseed variety in cereal and bakery products in Germany. The GM flax variety, FP967 (CDC Triffid), is not authorized for food or feed use in the EU.
GM flax FP967 has tolerance to soil residues of sulfonylurea-based herbicides, and was developed by the Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. Canada supplies approximately 70% of the total flax/linseed utilized in the EU annually.
Because GM flax FP967 is not authorized in the European Union, there is zero tolerance for the variety per EU regulations. This means that any raw material or flax/linseed derivative analyzed to be positive for FP967 is not marketable in the EU.
Testing is recommended for exports of flax products to the EU. FoodChain ID Testing offers a construct-specific method for detection of FP967 using Real-time PCR. The test specifically detects a transgenic construct that is present in GM Flax/Linseed FP967 (CDC Triffid), but is not present in unmodified flax or in any other commercialized GM event such as GM canola or GM corn. The method is fully validated and is included in the ISO 17025 scope of accreditation for FoodChain ID Testing laboratories in the United States and Europe. The test is now available for all flax/linseed products.