Agilent Helps Detect Genetically Modified Foods

Genetically modified foods are in the news.  The arctic apple, which has been genetically engineered not to brown after being sliced, is currently seeking approval for sale in the U.S.

GMFs have been around since 1994, when the Flavr Savr delayed-ripening tomato was approved for human consumption.  Since then, a number of crops including soybeans and corn have been genetically modified for higher nutrition and resistance to herbicides.  But if the arctic apple is approved, it would be one of the first GMFs to be marketed directly to consumers.

There is broad scientific consensus that GMFs are no more dangerous than normal foods, but critics disagree.  There are issues related to environmental impact and intellectual property rights.  Regulations are also inconsistent.  In the U.S., GMF labeling is voluntary.  In Europe, any food containing at least 1 percent of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) must be labelled.

DNA analysis is the only effective method for detecting GMOs along the entire range from raw materials to highly processed foods.  The Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer system and Agilent DNA 1000 LabChip Kit can be used to detect genetically modified elements in corn and soybean products with a sensitivity as high as 0.01 percent.

This information is for research purposes only.  It is not intended for any use in diagnostic procedures.


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