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Australian Government: National Measurement InstituteAustralian Government: National Measurement Institute
National Measurement Institute

Genetically Modified Food

Genetically modified (GM) organisms are living organisms whose genetic material has been modified using gene technology to introduce, remove or alter a specific characteristic or trait. GM crops are commonly produced to give plants specific advantageous traits such as tolerance to herbicides or resistance to insects or viruses.

Trade requirements and labelling legislation have driven development of new strategies for detecting GM material in food and commodities. However, GM food and commodity testing remains an international challenge, as factors such as sampling technique and food-processing methods strongly affect our ability to detect genetic modifications, especially at low levels. Testing requirements range from general screening to identifying and quantifying a specific GM crop. The most suitable method must be determined on a case-by-case basis for each food or commodity, depending on the client’s requirements, the degree of processing of the sample and information sought from the test.

NMI's GM food testing, performed at our Lindfield laboratory, complies with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 (2005) General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibrating Laboratories and the most commonly used GM screening methods are certified by NATA (Accreditation No. 198, Corporate site No. 15605). NMI also has extensive experience in quantitative GM analysis and has participated in a number of international comparison studies on GM quantification together with other national measurement institutes.

For more information contact +61 2 8467 3700 or

GM Food-detection Services

Crop Type


GM Screens

CaMV 35S promoter, NOS terminator, nptII antibiotic resistance

Event-specific Assays

Roundup Ready® soy, Roundup Ready® canola, Roundup Ready® cotton, Ingard® cotton, Bt63 rice