Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL), Germany

Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL), Germany

The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) is one of the most important institutions for consumer protection and food safety in Germany. It serves the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture as a central scientific institution in the field of food safety. As national competent authority for gene technology assesses the potential risks from genetic engineering methods and products and is also involved in management tasks according to

European and national legislation for gene technology, Furthermore, the BVL manages the international information exchange on GMO in the Biosafety Clearing House for Germany. The BVL hosts the secretary of the Central Committee on Biological Safety (ZKBS). The ZKBS advises the Federal Government and the Federal States in safety-relevant questions on genetic engineering.

Staff members:

  • Achim Gathmann, PhD, Scientific officer
  • Joachim Bendiek, PhD, Scientific officer

Scientists employed at the BVL possess on a broad expertise in the field of GMO that could be retrieved for the mission. As basis for the data mining the BVL possesses a well-equipped library with about more than 5600 papers related to GMO and has online access to several journals of interest.

The BVL cooperates with RIKILT – Institute of Food Safety, NL, in the establishment of the EUGINIUS-MOLREG database. EUGINIUS aims at enabling and operating a European web-based database application providing detailed informa- tion on molecular characterisation, detection, safety data and legal status of GMOs relevant for food and feed world markets. For this purpose EUGINIUS tries to consider not only the European Union's perspective, but also the world-wide situation. In addition, EUGINIUS offers on-line tools supporting the diagnostic analysis of detection results and the development of diagnostic strategies for the detection of unauthorised GMOs.

The BVL was involved in the EC funded RTD-projects SIGMEA – Sustainable Introduction of GMO into European Agriculture (Framework Programme VI Contract number FP6-2002-SSP1-501986), TRANSCONTAINER – Developing efficient and stable biological containment systems for genetically modified plants (Framework Programme VII Contract number FOOD-CT-2006-023018), BEETLE – Biological and Ecological Evaluation Towards Long-term Effects (EU DG Environment Contract number ENV B.3/ETU/2007/007) and PROCE (Practical Implementation of Coexistence in Europe, FP7-KBBE-2011-5, 289157).

Selected publications:

  • Saeglitz, C., Gathmann, A., Priesnitz, K.U., Schuphan, I., Bartsch, D. (2006) Monitoring the Cry1Ab susceptibility of European Corn Borer (Ostrinia nubilalis Hbn.) in Germany. Journal of Economic Entomology 99: 1768-1773.
  • BEETLE (2009) Long-term effects of genetically modified (GM) crops on health and the environment (including biodiversity): prioritization of potential risks and delimitation of uncertainties. German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, BLaU- Umweltstudien and Genius GmbH
  • Heinze, P. (2008) The German Molecular Register Project. J. Verbr. Lebensm. 3, 43-44.