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Detection Methods and Performance Criteria for Genetically Modified Organisms

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Detection methods for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are necessary for many applications, from seed purity assessment to compliance of food labeling in several countries. Numerous analytical methods are currently used or under development to support these needs. The currently used methods are bioassays and protein- and DNA-based detection protocols. To avoid discrepancy of results between such largely different methods and, for instance, the potential resulting legal actions, compatibility of the methods is urgently needed. Performance criteria of methods allow evaluation against a common standard. The more-common performance criteria for detection methods are precision, accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity, which together specifically address other terms used to describe the performance of a method, such as applicability, selectivity, calibration, trueness, precision, recovery, operating range, limit of quantitation, limit of detection, and ruggedness. Performance criteria should provide objective tools to accept or reject specific methods, to validate them, to ensure compatibility between validated methods, and be used on a routine basis to reject data outside an acceptable range of variability. When selecting a method of detection, it is also important to consider its applicability, its field of applications, and its limitations, by including factors such as its ability to detect the target analyte in a given matrix, the duration of the analyses, its cost effectiveness, and the necessary sample sizes for testing. Thus, the current GMO detection methods should be evaluated against a common set of performance criteria.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, PMDV/MDO, Route de Saint Cyr, 78026 Versailles Cedex, France. 2: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Biométrie, Domaine de Vilvert, 78352 Jour en Josas Cedex, France. 3: Monsanto Co., 700 Chesterfield Pkwy N., St. Louis, MO 63198.

Publication date: May 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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