DNA Testing Tracks Source Of Supermarket Meat

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A laboratory in Israel has developed a process for identifying the source of meat using DNA testing. Beef found in the butcher's can be traced to a location, a herd, and even to a single animal. Our correspondents visit the labs of company "AutenticA, Bactochem" in Nes Ziona, Israel.

Following the recent damage to the nuclear reactor in Fukushima, Japan, consumers have been concerned with radioactivity in meat.

An Israeli laboratory has established a system to identify the source of meat using DNA testing.

At places where the system is implemented, soon it will be possible to scan the bar code of the packaged meat with your smartphone and receive information about its origin.

The genetic bar code consists of 50 characters.

[Guy Evron, Marketing Director, Traceability AutenticA]:
"The authentic bar code is marked on the meat itself. The smartphone scans it and uses a web application for the purpose. Then you get the information about the meat you are about to purchase - whether it's organic and if you’d like to buy fresh meat you would know when it was manufactured."

The registration and tracking starts at birth; when the calf is marked, sample tissue is also taken from its ear.

[Guy Evron, Marketing Director, Traceability AutenticA]:
"We sample each and every animal at the time of its birth with a tissue-sampling tag. The tag remains on the animal for the identification of the farmer and the tissue sample goes to the lab."

During the fully automated process, the genetic testing of tissue is done, and the personal 50 characters bar code is determined for each calf. No registration is required.

A database links the bar code with all required information about the herd and the animal...