‘DNA Barcoding’ to Regulate Seafood Industry Through Genetic Scanning
Restaurants around the globe will soon be utilizing genetic identification technology to ensure that certain seafood meals are genuine. The DNA barcoding technique was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October, and is toted as a method of dealing with ‘fraudulent’ fish products.
It turns out that some restaurants may be serving you inferior seafood substitutes while still charging a premium price. Caviar and fish fillets could actually be comprised of lower quality alternatives without your knowledge.
DNA Barcoding Identifies Species by Genetics, Uses Scanning Technology
The DNA barcoding acts as a standardized fingerprint that is capable of identifying a species similar to how a supermarket scanner reads a barcode. The genetic tool seeks to end the mislabeling of both local and imported seafoods in the United States. However the regulatory technology may soon be used by agencies worldwide.
National regulators around the world are considering the possibility of picking up the technology. DNA barcoding is considered a fast, reliable and cheap method of identifying organic matter.
David Schindel, a Smithsonian Institution paleontologist and executive secretary of the Washingtonbased Consortium for the Barcode of Life, sees the DNA barcoding as a regulatory mark of the future.
“We’re going to start seeing a self-regulating movement by the high-end trade embracing barcoding as a mark of quality,” he said.
DNA Barcoding to be Used Throughout the Food Industry?
If Schindel is right about DNA barcoding becoming the new ‘mark of quality’ among the food supply, it may soon become routine across the entire food supply. Beyond that, the uses of the technology is seemingly unlimited.
Perhaps the technology could extend to deciphering whether or not food products have been genetically modified, or even testing a live animal to determine if it has been scientifically altered. The technology has many uses that, while seemingly far-fetched, are actually just catching up to the outlandish ventures of reckless biotechnology corporations like Monsanto.
Natural Society staff contribution