Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

FP6

SIGMEA Sintesi della relazione

Project ID: 501986
Finanziato nell'ambito di: FP6-POLICIES
Paese: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - SIGMEA (Sustainable introduction of GMO's into European Agriculture)

Genetically-modified (GM) plants are now widely cultivated throughout North and South America, as well as to a lesser extent in Asia. In Europe, only a few thousand hectares of Bt maize are currently being grown, mostly in Spain. Over the last ten years, European regulatory provisions reinforced the prior evaluation of GM crops, set up rules concerning traceability and labelling, and imposed post-marketing monitoring. In turn, the European Commission (EC) established the principle of coexistence which refers to 'the ability of farmers to make a practical choice between conventional, organic and GM-crop production, in compliance with the legal obligations for labelling and / or purity standards' and laid down guidelines defining the context of this coexistence.

What needs to be accounted for if we are to introduce in a sustainable manner GM crops throughout Europe so that coexistence is feasible? The cross-disciplinary SIGMEA project was set up to provide to decision-makers science-based information about the appropriate coexistence and traceability measures that would be needed.

The structure of the SIGMEA project was based on its major objectives which were to collate existing and ongoing results on gene flow and ecological impacts and to generate gene flow models at the landscape level in order to set up a science-based framework, methods and tools for assessing ecological and economic impacts of GM crops as well as for effectively managing their development within European farming systems.

Special attention has been paid to coexistence and seven regional case studies were carried out for designing and assessing scenarios for coexistence.

As a result of the project, a number of outcomes have been achieved:
1. The largest collection in Europe of data on gene flow and persistence has been organised.
2. Enhanced understanding of gene flow informs practical strategies for coexistence in maize, oilseed rape and sugar beet.
3. A synthesis of available data on environmental impacts of Bt maize and Herbicide tolerant (HT) oilseed rape within European cropping systems has been produced.
4. A landscape generator simulating agricultural landscapes has been designed and is available online.
5. An operational, practical and dynamic generic gene flow modelling platform LandFlow-Gene is available for research purposes.
6. The feasibility of coexistence and its costs have been analysed in various European agricultural situations and scenarios for managing coexistence are proposed.
7. Costs of coexistence highly depend on the framework for implementing coexistence measures and uniform measures are not optimal.
8. SIGMEA has produced the first large-scale empirically based estimation of the economic impact of a GM crop for European Union (EU) farmers.
9. A framework for designing multi-attribute decision-support systems has been proposed.
10. On-site novel methods for Genetically modified organism (GMO) detection have been designed.
11. Monitoring issues for EU were discussed and recommendations have been made.
12. The current regulatory regimes of EU and Member States, liability and redress issues have been analysed and recommendations have been made.
13. Recommendations for the decision-making processes relating to the market release of GM crops under progress can be derived from SIGMEA outcomes.
14. SIGMEA is providing the scientific community as well as decision-makers with adequate information about gene flow and its implications in terms of coexistence.

Informazioni correlate

Reported by

NIAB
CAMBRIDGE
United Kingdom