IdentiGEN founder says access to DNA from cloned animals should be made public

Feb 14, 2008

In order for meat producers and retailers to satisfy anticipated consumer desires to avoid meat and milk from cloned animals, access to DNA from every unique clone should be made public so that DNA traceability technology can be used, according to Patrick Cunningham of Dublin's Trinity College and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, who will speak at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in Boston tomorrow.

Cunningham is also Co-founder and Chairman of IdentiGEN Ltd., a leading provider of DNA-based solutions to the agriculture and food industries in Europe and North America, including its DNA TraceBack system for verifying animal origins and characteristics.

On Jan. 15, 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that meat and milk from cloned animals are safe to eat. There are a number of companies known to be producing cloned animals for the livestock industry, and some are already marketing semen from clones.

Initial consumer reaction to the prospect of consuming meat and milk from cloned animals has been negative. A 2007 national Consumers Union poll found that 89 percent of consumers want labels on food products from clones. On Jan. 24, California State Senator Carol Migden introduced a bill requiring all food products from cloned animals and their offspring to display clear and prominent labeling.

DNA traceability will be crucial for grocery retailers and meat producers who want to assure concerned consumers that their products are clone-free, Dr. Cunningham said. But, he added, it will be difficult to do so without access to DNA from cloned animals. Clone producers currently keep DNA data from cloned animals proprietary.

In his presentation, entitled "Dolly for Dinner," Dr. Cunningham predicted that at least some producers and retailers will want to reassure consumers that their products are clone-free -- in which case they may be required to back up their claims with credible evidence such as DNA traceability. International experience has shown that the animal ear-tags, which are traditionally used for animal identification, may be lost or removed and do not offer a means to trace the products derived from the animal.

Once a DNA database of clones is established, a sampling and profiling program can be applied to any supply chain to verify whether clones are present, he said.

IdentiGEN was founded in 1996 by a group of geneticists from Ireland’s Trinity College, who developed DNA TraceBack, the world’s first DNA-based meat traceability system proven to unequivocally trace the identity of meat back to its source. IdentiGEN's DNA TraceBack is being used by major grocery retailers and meat producers in Ireland and the U.K. to support marketing of branded meat, verify country of origin and validate product attributes. It also can also be used to support seamless and fast traceability of fresh meat in the event of a product recall.

Source: Wells Communications

Explore further: Free the seed: OSSI nurtures growing plants without patent barriers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Moth lineage provides a key to species diversification

Mar 28, 2014

To many, moths are just the dull relatives of butterflies that often startle us in the dark. But for UH Mānoa Junior Researcher Dr. William Haines, former Junior Researcher Dr. Patrick Schmitz and Professor ...

Bamboo-loving giant pandas also have a sweet tooth

Mar 26, 2014

Despite the popular conception of giant pandas as continually chomping on bamboo to fulfill a voracious appetite for this reedy grass, new research from the Monell Center reveals that this highly endangered ...

Dingo found as culprit to WA sheep decline

Feb 17, 2014

New research suggests that unless drastic action is taken to control dingo incursions, rangeland production of wool and sheep meat in Western Australia will disappear within 30 to 40 years.

Isotope analysis of Flakstad skeletons

Dec 09, 2013

How was life for common people in Norway during the period 400–1050 AD? Can we learn more? Yes, according to Elise Naumann, research scholar in archaeology.

Scientists discover a hidden giant

Nov 21, 2013

(Phys.org) —University of Queensland researchers have discovered a vivid new species of giant clam on reefs in the Solomon Islands and at Ningaloo in Western Australia.

Recommended for you

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

20 hours ago

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...