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Food from Genetically Engineered Plants: What Role for Metabolomics?—June 13, 2018

Chair: Norbert E. Kaminski, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Co-Chair: Jason Dietz, US FDA CFSAN, College Park, MD

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New plant varieties intended for commercial release have routinely been examined for agronomic characteristics and product quality (e.g., taste and suitability for processing) prior to commercialization. Foods from varieties that have passed these premarket analyses have historically been safe. In addition to these analyses, food safety assessments of genetically engineered crops routinely include, among other analyses, a targeted compositional analysis typically comparing the levels of toxicants, anti-nutrients and key nutrients in food from the new variety to those in food historically consumed. The intent of this analysis is to determine whether there have been changes in the levels of key substances in the food that would be important from a nutritional or toxicological perspective. While the methods historically used for this assessment have been reliable, new methods (referred to as metabolic profiling or sometimes metabolomics) provide the ability to produce a molecular profile of new varieties that spans more substances than typically examined in the focused biochemical analysis. Although metabolic profiling may provide more data about the composition of food from a new variety, it is not certain that metabolic profiling would routinely improve predictability of food safety assessments.

Plant composition may be affected by a wide range of factors (e.g., genetics, environment, life stage, etc.) that have not historically precipitated food safety issues in new varieties. Only in notable exceptions has food from new plant varieties contained harmful levels of endogenous substances. This colloquium will describe the premarket safety assessments performed for foods from genetically engineered plants and examine the scientific factors important when considering whether metabolic profiling data would have utility or added value in the safety assessment of food from genetically engineered plants.

8:00 AM–8:30 AM Badge Pick Up
8:30 AM–8:45 AM US FDA Welcome and Overview, Dennis Keefe, Director
Office of Food Additive Safety, CFSAN, US FDA, College Park, MD
Welcome from SOT and Introductions, Norbert E. Kaminski, SOT Past President, Colloquium Chair, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
8:45 AM–9:25 AM Introduction to the Safety Assessment of Foods from  Genetically Engineered Plant Varieties
Jason Dietz, CFSAN US FDA, College Park, MD
9:25 AM–10:05 AM Factors Influencing the Composition/Metabolic Profile of Food from Plants
Sherry Flint-Garcia, USDA/ARS, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
10:05 AM–10:25 AM Break
10:25 AM–11:05 AM Introduction to Metabolic Profiling
Ann Knolhoff, CFSAN, US FDA, College Park, MD
11:05 AM–11:45 AM Composition Testing in the Safety Assessment of Foods from Genetically Modified Crops
Bryan Delaney, DuPont Pioneer, Johnston, IA
11:45 AM–12:45 PM Roundtable Discussion
Moderator: Norbert Kaminski, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
All speakers
Additional Panelist: Supratim Choudhuri, CFSAN, US FDA, College Park, MD
On-Site Registration

Advance Registration to Participate On-Site closed June 4, 2018

US Federal employees may register on-site.

On-site seating has no cost. Preregistration is required for participants who are not US federal employees.

Coffee and tea are provided at the registration desk. A cafeteria is available outside the security entrance to the facility.

Webcast Registration

Webcast Registration

Webcast participants can submit questions online during the event. These will be answered as time allows.

Questions about the SOT FDA Colloquia registration?
Contact Jim Dailey or 703.438.3115 Ext. 1428.

Location, Transportation, and Parking


Wiley Auditorium

Harvey W. Wiley Federal Building
US FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
5001 Campus Drive, College Park, Maryland 20740


Metro Rail
We strongly encourage visitors to take the Metro via the Green Line to the College Park-University of Maryland station stop, which is across the street from the Wiley Building.

Directions from the Capital Beltway (I-495) to CFSAN

  • Take the Capital Beltway in Maryland and exit at Exit 23
  • Drive on MD-201 S/Hwy 201S/Kenilworth Avenue in Greenbelt
  • Proceed to Campus Drive in College Park; turn left onto River Road
  • The CFSAN campus is on the left
  • CFSAN is across from the College Park/U of MD Metro Station


For those who must drive, there is limited public parking at CFSAN which must be reserved in advance by indicating the parking request on the registration form. Alternatively, paid parking is available at the College Park Metro Station across the street from the campus.


Wiley Auditorium is a secured space. All on-site participants will pass through security, which will require a photo ID for those who are not FDA employees. In addition, anyone who is not a US citizen or permanent resident will be required to complete a Foreign Visitor Form to submit to SOT by June 4, 2018.

Organizing Committee
  • Bryan Delaney, PhD, DABT, ATS, Colloquium Series Chair, DuPont Pioneer, Johnston, IA
  • Allen Rudman, PhD, Colloquium Series Co-Chair, US FDA, College Park, MD
  • Jason L. Aungst, PhD, US FDA, College Park, MD
  • Suzanne Compton Fitzpatrick, PhD, DABT, US FDA, College Park, MD
  • Jieun Lee, PhD, DABT, Kellogg, Battle Creek, MI
  • Stephen M. Roberts, PhD, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • Jia-Sheng Wang, MD, PhD, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • Jeffrey J. Yourick, PhD, DABT, ATS, US FDA, Laurel, MD
  • Patricia Ganey, Council Contact, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
  • Norbert E. Kaminski, PhD, Colloquium Chair, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
  • Jason Dietz, PhD, Colloquium Co-chair, CFSAN, US FDA, College Park, MD
  • Betty Eidemiller, SOT staff, SOT, Reston, VA