Traceability and authenticity of New Plant Breeding Technologies in the EU

DETECTIVE, a four-year EU-funded research project was launched in Malmö, Sweden, from 17 to 19 January 2024. It aims to develop, validate, and promote innovative detection methods for plant and animal products of new genomic techniques (NGTs) such as gene editing and cisgenesis. HFFA Research GmbH will proudly contribute to the research of this multi- disciplinary consortium, led by the Swedish University of Agricultural Science and consisting of altogether 20 partners from eight EU Member States, Switzerland, and China as well as the Joint Research Centre from the European Commission.


The European and international food production and distribution systems are interlinked and the need to trace plants and animals and their food products is important for labelling, traceability, and consumer choice. This requires the development of (cost)-effective and comprehensive detection systems in the field of plants and animals obtained through NGTs. Therefore, DETECTIVE works towards sustainable food systems and ensures the integrity and reliability of food products on the European market, actively contributing to the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy.


Led by Justus Wesseler and working together with a team from Wageningen University as well as in close collaboration with Kai Purnhagen from the Universität Bayreuth, HFFA Research GmbH substantially contributes to Work Package 1 of DETECTIVE, dealing with integrative strategies for traceability, authenticity and transparency of NGT products along the agri-food supply chains. Thereby, our main task is to conduct a comprehensive comparative analysis of governance options for NGT detection and traceability, highlighting the different socio-economic implications.


The official press release announcing the kick-off and providing more detailed information on the project can be downloaded here.