Eurofins and GeneScan Develop Quantitative PCR Test for MON863 Corn to Help the Food and Feed Exporters Comply with the New EU-Legislation on GMO

Memphis, TN / New Orleans, LA, May 11, 2004--The requirements on producers of food and feed products being exported to the EU increased significantly on April 18, 2004 when new EU regulations (1829/2003/EC and 1830/2003/EC) regarding labeling and traceability of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in food and feed products came into force. Standard “screening” tests for GMOs as practiced by many laboratories no longer provide sufficient information to ensure compliance by companies exporting food and feed products to the EU. In response to this requirement for more information about specific GM events, Eurofins and GeneScan have developed a new quantitative PCR test for the genetically modified corn type MON863 (YieldGard PlusTM, MaxGardTM).

As part of the new EU regulation, food and feed products must be labeled if the adventitious and technically unavoidable presence of GMO exceeds 0.9%. This threshold applies to GMOs that have been authorized in the EU. GMOs without authorization are not allowed in feed and food products. An exception exists for those GMOs that have been authorized by the EC Scientific Committee before EU regulation 1830/2003/EC came into effect. These GMOs are allowed up to 0.5% in food and feed. Trait specific GMO analytical methods are necessary in order for food and feed producers to ensure compliance to the various thresholds in the regulation. For this reason, a standard “screening” test, as practiced by many laboratories, showing the presence of the 35S or NOS genetic sequence is no longer sufficient to determine the appropriate declaration for a product.

On April 19, 2004, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a positive assessment of the transgenic corn variety MON863, from Monsanto, which is traded as YieldGard PlusTM or MaxGardTM. Hence, MON863 corn belongs to that group of GMOs for which an amount of up to 0.5% is tolerable in food and feed. The identification and quantification of MON863 corn is therefore necessary to ensure the marketability of food and feed products that may contain this GMO.

With the development of the quantitative analysis of MON863 corn, Eurofins and GeneScan continue to assist food and feed producers to comply with EU regulations. Eurofins and GeneScan offer more than 50 different qualitative and quantitative tests for GMOs in a variety of food and feed matrices. Our laboratories are able to provide an exact analytical statement about the marketability and labeling requirements for food and feed being exported to the EU market to better serve the needs of the US food and feed industry.

For further information visit, or please contact :

Eurofins US GeneScan USA
David Pinero
(Laboratory Manager, Biotechnology)
Phone: 515-265-1461
E-mail: [email protected]

Dr. Frank Spiegelhalter
(Executive Vice President, Genescan USA)
Phone: 504-297-4355
E-mail:[email protected]

Eurofins Scientific is a life sciences company operating internationally to provide a comprehensive range of bioanalytical support services drawing on the latest developments in biotechnology. The Group specializes in delivering analytical testing services to clients from a wide range of industries including the pharmaceutical, food and environmental sectors. The Eurofins Group aims to become a world market leader in this field of applied life sciences and is pursuing a dynamic expansion strategy to improve both its technology portfolio and its geographic reach. Through R&D, in-licensing and acquisitions, the Group draws
on the latest developments in the field to offer its clients unparalleled analytical solutions.

With over 2,000 staff in more than 40 laboratories across 12 countries and a portfolio of around 5,000 reliable analytical methods for proving the authenticity, origin, safety, identity, and purity of biological substances, Eurofins Scientific is already a leading global provider of bioanalytical services. The Group is committed to supporting its clients’ objectives of ensuring that their products reach the best possible quality and safety levels in all markets in which they operate. Eurofins Scientific intends to continue to develop, acquire or license the most comprehensive range of state-of-the-art analytical technologies in order to support its clients’ increasingly stringent quality and safety standards and the demands of regulatory authorities around the world.

As a company of the Eurofins Group, GeneScan Europe AG operates in the area of quality and identity control of food and animal feed. The focus of these activities is the detection of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in seeds, agricultural commodities, semi-finished and finished products. The company meets its customers’ global requirements by operating its own analysis laboratories in Europe, North and South America and by establishing networks of strategic partners and licensees. In addition to carrying out service analyses, it also offers the corresponding diagnostics kits to third party laboratories. The group’s portfolio also includes design, implementation and certification of customized control programs and identity preservation systems along the entire production chain.

The shares of Eurofins Scientific are listed on Euronext in Paris (ISIN FR0000038259) and on the Frankfurt (WKN 910251) Stock Exchange (Reuters EUFI.LN, Bloomberg ERSC FP, ESF, EUFI.DE). GeneScan-shares (WKN 586150) are listed on the Frankfurt Stock exchange (Reuters GEPG.DE).

Important disclaimer:
This press release might contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Eurofins and/ or GeneScan as of the date of this release. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees for future performance, and the forward-looking events discussed in this release may not occur. Eurofins and/ or GeneScan disclaim any intent or obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements.

This press release does not constitute advice on GMO labeling. Please refer to legislation and professional advisors for answers applicable to a specific situation. YieldGard PlusTM and MaxGardTM are trademarks of Monsanto.

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