January 2022

LGC contract awards reinforce its national roles

LGC has today announced the renewal of its genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and feed additives National Reference Laboratory (NRL) functions and awards of new Authorisations roles.

Following Government open competitive tendering processes, contracts have been awarded to support:

  • The Authorisation process for GMOs in Great Britain (GB). Following EU exit, the responsibility for authorising food or feed products containing GMOs for market placement within our borders now rests with FSA and FSS to provide recommendations to advise Ministers on authorising decisions. FSA and FSS develop recommendations based on independent scientific risk assessment opinions. The recommendations are then submitted to Ministers in each of the 3 GB countries who will make the decision on whether to authorise a product. LGC will be providing scientific assessment and evaluation of methods for the detection of new GMOs, as well as those due for renewal, as part of the official authorisation process set in place within GB.
  • The Authorisation process for feed additives, with LGC reviewing methods of analysis submitted for approval to evaluate their fitness for use for official control purposes. Feed additives, substances, micro-organisms or preparations, other than feed materials and pre-mixtures, which are intentionally added to feed or water to perform a particular function, are regulated products and as such, require authorisation by Ministers in each of the 3 countries of GB before they can be used.
  • LGC’s renewed roles as UK NRL for GMOs in food and feed, and for feed additives, providing support and advice to the official control laboratories and the competent authorities (the FSA in England and Wales, and FSS in Scotland) with additional responsibilities including increased international representation and standardisation activities.

The GMOs NRL and authorisations will be led by Dr Malcolm Burns (Head of the GMO Unit), and the feed additives NRL and authorisations will be led by Kirstin Gray (Project Manager, Foods and Referee Analysis) and Paul Hancock (Head of the Office of the Government Chemist).

Dr Julian Braybrook - UK Government Chemist & Director of the National Laboratories at LGC said, “We are delighted that FSA and FSS have chosen LGC to deliver these important new functions as part of the FSA’s provision of processes that fit the needs of the UK’s renowned food and feed regulatory system. It is a recognition of the expertise of our staff and the trust developed between our organisations as a result of our performance in delivering the NRL roles since their inception in 2009”.

Prof Robin May, FSA Chief Scientific Adviser, said, “NRLs are a critical part of our national infrastructure in delivering a safe and authentic food system. These contracts with LGC will not only provide NRL services but support our regulated products approval process by delivering scientific evaluations on GMO and feed additives applications. LGC has provided trusted, long-standing services to the FSA, and we look forward to working with their expert scientists moving forward.”