GRACE Newsletter March 2015
This newsletter is to inform interested stakeholders of recent developments in the EU research project GRACE, including participatory events, a concluding conference and research outputs.
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At a Glance
- GRACE Stakeholder Workshops on Draft Results, Conclusions and Recommendations:
5-6 October 2015, Vienna: Use of Evidence Synthesis in GMO Impact Assessment
7-8 October 2015, Vienna: Feeding and Alternative Studies on GM Maize
- GRACE Final Conference:
9-10 November 2015 (Potsdam, Germany)
Stakeholder Consultation on Evidence Synthesis of GMO Impact Research
More consultation reports published
Latest GRACE Research Paper
Improved statistical approaches for better interpretation of feeding trial data
Join in the Discussion: Open Scientific Forum
GRACE is inviting experts, stakeholders and interested members of the public to take part in a scientific discussion of its published results
GRACE Stakeholder Workshops on Draft Results, Conclusions and Recommendations
5-6 October 2015 (Vienna, Austria): Use of Evidence Synthesis in GMO Impact Assessment
This stakeholder workshop will discuss the draft results of the systematic reviews and evidence maps produced by the GRACE project for stakeholder-selected questions relevant for the assessment of health, environmental, and socioeconomic impacts of GMOs. The consultation will also assess the general conclusions and recommendations concerning the use of evidence synthesis approaches in the context of GMO risk research and risk assessment.
7-8 October 2015 (Vienna, Austria): Feeding and Alternative Studies on GM Material in the Context of GM Risk Assessment
This stakeholder workshop will discuss the draft results of both the one-year animal feeding study and the 90-day longitudinal study (to consider whether (additional) metabolic endpoints improve the evaluation of toxic effects of transgenic crops) as well as the draft results of the in vitro, in silico and analytical studies – all of them conducted on GM maize. The consultation will also comment on the draft overarching conclusions and recommendations on the use of feeding and alternative studies for GMO risk research and risk assessment.
The discussion and the comments received in the context of these two stakeholder consultations will be taken into consideration in the interpretation of GRACE results and the development of overall conclusions and recommendations. More information concerning both meetings will be circulated in April 2015.
To pre-register, please send an email to GRACEfirstname.lastname@example.org. In this message, please provide the details (name, affiliation) of the participant that should appear on the congress badge, the name(s) of the workshops to be attended, and other relevant information (such as dietary preferences for catering). A confirmation of registration will be sent to participants after the registration deadline.
GRACE Final Conference
9-10 November 2015 (Potsdam, Germany)
After 3 ½ years of research and accompanying stakeholder consultations, the closing conference will present the following final results of GRACE:
- Evaluation of Animal Feeding Trials (90-day and 1-year studies) and Alternative In Vitro Studies for the Assessment of GMO Impacts on Human Health
- Evidence Synthesis of GMO Impact Research: Good Review Practice & Data Evaluation of Beneficial and Adverse Impacts of GM Crops
This conference is aimed at academics and representatives from stakeholder organisations, decision-makers and regulators in the field of GMO impact assessment.
The meeting is limited to a maximum of 200 participants. Further information will be available on the conference website in April 2015. Those interested in receiving further information can also pre-register here (please write “conference” in the message field).
More Consultation Reports Published
One of the objectives of GRACE is to evaluate existing evidence in the scientific literature on beneficial and adverse impacts of GM crops using two different evidence synthesis methods: evidence maps and systematic reviews. In the planning stage, stakeholders were involved in the discussion and fine-tuning of the general framework, in developing the review questions, and in developing detailed plans for creating the evidence maps and conducting systematic reviews.
All four GRACE Stakeholder Consultation Reports resulting from these planning stage consultations are now available. The last two reports were published recently:
- Response from the GRACE team to stakeholder comments on the general framework and draft review questions received in the GRACE stakeholder consultation round conducted in April/May 2014.
- Stakeholder Priorities for Review Questions
Results from the prioritization exercise (stakeholder feedback via an online questionnaire), final set of review questions and the GRACE team’s rationale for selecting the review questions.
Another series of consultation steps is foreseen on the results from the evidence maps and systematic reviews as well as on the usefulness of the GRACE concept for good review practice. These will be held from 5-6 Oct 2015 in Vienna (see above for more details and registration).
Improved Statistical Approaches for Better Interpretation of Feeding Trial Data
In this paper*, the scientists applied a new approach to statistically analyse data from a whole-food GMO toxicity study. This approach can make it easier for experts to judge the biological relevance of observed effects in toxicity studies by providing the sizes of all effects in a comprehensive and consolidated way.
This new approach enhances transparency when interpreting data from food safety tests, which supports consensus between the actors involved in decision-making, such as toxicologists, statisticians and regulators. Furthermore, it helps communicate study results in a way that is more easily understood.
*Enhancing the interpretation of statistical P values in toxicology studies: implementation of linear mixed models (LMMs) and standardized effect sizes (SESs). K. Schmidt et al., Archives of Toxicology, 2015, 10.1007/s00204-015-1487-8
GRACE is inviting experts, stakeholders and interested members of the public to take part in a scientific discussion of its published results:
- Improved statistical approach for better interpretation of feeding trial data
- 90-day feeding study with MON810, a genetically modified maize
A public discussion forum has been set up for this purpose, hosted by the scientific journal Archives of Toxicology. We invite letters/commentaries of up to 2,000 words which may contain up to ten references.
The GRACE consortium welcomes BioMath (Rostock, Germany) as its 19th partner. BioMath is providing project support in the form of advanced statistical analysis of feeding trial data.
More information: www.biomath.de
From 10 to 11 March 2015, more than 30 researchers from GRACE, G-TwYST and GMO90plus met at Paris Descartes University to streamline their collaborative work. The projects are conducting sub-chronic, chronic and carcinogenicity studies with two GM events in a highly coordinated manner. In September 2014 the projects agreed on closer cooperation, through the exchange of material and data and in the planning and interpretation of animal feeding trials.
G-TwYST (GM plants Two Year Safety Testing) is a 4-year EU research project which started in April 2014. G-TwYST is conducting two 90-day and a combined 2-year chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity study with GM maize NK603, based on OECD test guidelines and according to EFSA considerations.
Project website: www.g-twyst.eu
GMO90plus (Genetically modified organism, 90-day to 180-day testing) is a 3-year research project which started in 2014 to improve 90-day sub-chronic toxicity testing in rats. The specific objective of this study is to investigate whether biomarkers can be identified which directly relate to feeding rats with MON810 or NK603 GM maize. The project is supported by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE).
Project website: www.rechercheriskogm.fr/page/GMO90plus
GRACE involves stakeholders in research planning and drawing of conclusions. Read here for more information.
New Stakeholder Consultation Reports:
Consultation on Good Review Practice in GMO Impact Assessment