Testing for GMOs

Preserving IP product Purity

See this article from the Organic and Non-GMO report about testing in this new post-labeling law world. With all the new focus on identity-preserved grains and organic food, there is an increased need for testing at all facilities in the IP grain chain; in addition to the farmers themselves, this includes transporters and elevator operators. At each step of the process it is important to have procedures in place to ensure the purity of the product. See this article about combine cleaning. In addition to physical changes and cleanliness, testing is also paramount. The two main types of testing available are test strips and PCR testing.

Test Strips vs PCR Testing

Protein-based lateral flow strip tests are used to detect the presence of a particular GMO. The test is fast (a few minutes), but does not provide results concerning the level of impurity. On the other hand, DNA-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests do provide quantitative analysis, but cost much more and can take up to three days to complete.

The non-gmo project maintains a list of recommended testing facilities for GMOs. There are also some new products on the horizon in the PCR realm, including DNAble from Envirologix (not a lab, per se, but a testing kit manufacturer) which gives results similar to PCR (high sensitivity with high specificity) on-site in much less time (presently, for soybeans).

GMOs in Vaccines?

Moms Across America have sponsored testing of water, food, breast milk, and now vaccines for glyphosate contamination. The results of their preliminary findings would indicate that further testing is warranted. The small amounts found in the vaccines (tested using the ELISA method, see details in this report) are troublesome because they are injected directly into the blood stream, and for that matter into our most vulnerable citizens, babies and toddlers.

It’s not really that surprising that glyphosate may have found its way into vaccines since the weed-killing component is now nearly ubiquitous in our food stream. Likely culprits in the the ingredients are calf serum, lactose, egg protein, or gelatins used in the serums, all derived from animals that are fed GE grains sprayed with Roundup.

Below is a chart with the preliminary (not conclusive) findings.

Microbe Inotech Laboratories Inc. agreed to test vaccines with the understanding that, like the breast milk, the testing was not validated for that type of substance and would be exploratory testing only, not conclusive.
Microbe Inotech Laboratories Inc. agreed to test vaccines with the understanding that, like the breast milk, the testing was not validated for that type of substance and would be exploratory testing only, not conclusive.

No GMOs in S. Korean wheat shipments

(Jack Dykinga photo courtesy ARS/USDA)
(Jack Dykinga photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

In a follow-up to last week’s news concerning South Korea and Japan and GMO wheat, South Korea has found no GMOs in the recent shipment. There is still no clear answer where the rogue wheat came from in Washington state. South Korea is the US’s 5th largest importer of wheat. They will continue to test incoming crops for GMOs and reject any shipments found to contain GMOs. Read the story by Reuter’s Karl Plume in Chicago.

GMO mosquito test approved

Aedes aegypti during blood meal

Photo by James Gathany [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Authorities have given the approval for testing genetically modified mosquitos in Florida. The company that developed the mosquito, Oxitec, promotes it as an alternative (less chemical impact) way to battle the pesky disease-bearing Aedes Aegypti mosquito. Continue reading “GMO mosquito test approved”

Florida Lab Accredited for GMO Testing

In this article for the Bradenton Herald, Janelle O’Dea talks about SRQ Bio’s recent ISO certification to do GMO testing in it’s Sarasota facility. This is news likely to be repeated across the nation as labs come on board with the science required to carry out certified testing. It’s one thing to mandate labeling and testing (89% of Americans favor the mandate, according to the Mellman Group), but quite another to put in place the necessary resources to carry out said tests. I believe it will be important to have these (certified) resources locally throughout the country to expedite testing, especially since some of our trading partners require it as well. SRQ Bio tests human food, pet food, and cosmetics as well.

Ghania Ait-Ghezala, SRQ Bio’s technical director for GMO testing stands in front of SRQ Bio’s GMO-testing lab, which is certified under an international standard to conduct the tests. Janelle O’Dea jodea@bradenton.com
Ghania Ait-Ghezala, SRQ Bio’s technical director for GMO testing stands in front of SRQ Bio’s GMO-testing lab, which is certified under an international standard to conduct the tests. Janelle O’Dea jodea@bradenton.com

Read more here