Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


GMO coexistence research in European agriculture

Funded under: FP6-FOOD


In simple terms, coexistence is a way of allowing farmers to choose between conventional, organic and genetically modified (GM) crop production. Due to its unique multi-step and multi-player nature, the complete farming, food and feed production chain is complex and difficult to control. Traditionally, the integrity of the chain has been protected mainly from chemical and microbial residues, while farmers have used coexistence as a standard agronomical control tool for crop rotations. However, the introduction of genetically modified crops into the food chain and the imperatives of consumer choice have created a further degree of complexity for European farmers and consumers.
With GM maize being cultivated in some European countries and with increasing quantities of imported GM products arriving in our ports, appropriate legislation was introduced in 2003 to control European GM introduction and production (see box). Such legislation calls for tools to allow all players along the chain, from the farmer to the supermarket, and from the field to the kitchen, to make conscious, informed choices. The EU¿s Sixth Framework Programme for Research (FP6), which ran from 2002 to 2006, addressed these issues by funding research projects which would promote greater understanding of how coexistence could be practically applied and enforced along the chain, and thus help support the existing and any pending legislation and policy.

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