JKI and CEE join forces to develop tools for systematic, unbiased GMO impact assessments
The Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI)* and the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE) have agreed to pool their efforts to improve and promote evidence synthesis methodology. A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed in mid-December 2013.
This cooperation will directly support GRACE, the EU-FP 7 project led by JKI that develops practical tools for using evidence synthesis in the impact assessment of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Evidence synthesis approaches are a powerful review tool for evaluating and summarizing research results in a transparent, reproducible and unbiased manner. The use of such standardized review processes in GMO impact assessment will increase the transparency of science-based decision-making processes regarding the potential health, environmental and socio-economic impacts of GMOs.
As part of the cooperation between JKI and CEE, web-based tools and a linked database will be developed to simplify data collection and the preparation of evidence synthesis in this area. The web tools will help ensure that evidence synthesis follows strict guidelines (“Good Review Practice”) by fostering a comprehensive, verifiable and unified procedure.
JKI will be responsible for the technical implementation and will integrate the tools and database into the CADIMA (Central Access Database for Impact Assessment of Crop Genetic Improvement Technologies) database cluster already being developed by the GRACE project. CEE, a global non-profit collaboration of scientists specializing in high-quality evidence synthesis approaches, will contribute its extensive knowledge and experience in this field to design tools and procedures in line with the latest review guidelines.
CADIMA and the tools for evidence synthesis will be made available for open access free of charge to everyone interested in evidence synthesis. JKI will operate CADIMA beyond the lifetime of the EU’s GRACE project. This will ensure that the unique database cluster can also be used by other projects as a centralized access point for GMO impact assessments in the long term.
* Julius-Kühn-Institut, Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology
Stakeholders Consultation (22-23 April 2013, Berlin)