The Biotechnology group contributes to the agency’s mission by responding to genetically modified (GM) grain products that are inadvertently released into the marketplace, validating Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) methods for accurate detection and quantification of specific GM traits, evaluating rapid test kit performance, administering a Proficiency Program, and developing research projects that help promote international harmonization of biotech testing methods.
Rapid Test Kit Evaluation (TKE)
The grain industry needs fast, reliable tests to detect the presence of GM grains and oilseeds. To ensure that reliable, rapid tests are commercially available, FGIS provides a Rapid Test Kit Evaluation program to verify that the performance of commercial test kits designed to detect GM material operate in accordance with manufacturers' claims.
Manufacturers interested in submitting a rapid test kit for verification should review our Biotech Criteria Documentation (pdf) for design criteria and test performance specifications. Additional information regarding recent changes to the program are available in our Biotech Test Kit Criteria Supporting Documentation (pdf).
Proficiency Program Information
The FGIS Proficiency Program seeks to improve the reliability of testing for biotechnology-derived grains and oilseeds by providing participants with the means to assess their capabilities and identify areas for improvement.
Any organization providing testing or testing for biotechnology-derived grains and oilseeds may participate in this voluntary Program. FGIS will mail fortified corn and soy samples on a bi-annual basis at the participant’s request. A report will be provided that summarizes the participants’ performance. Only at the participant’s request will their identity be reflected in the report.
Participants in the FGIS Proficiency Program must provide the following information by e-mail to the FGIS Biotechnology Program Manager:
- Participant name and address/contact person/telephone number/fax number/email address
Proficiency Program Final Reports are available upon request.
For more information, contact Brian Beecher at Brian.S.Beecher@usda.gov. For information about the Biotechnology Proficiency Program, please contact the program administrator at FGIS-CSPP@usda.gov