LAWRENCE, Kansas, and DUBLIN, Ireland, November 5 /PRNewswire/ --
- World's First DNA-based Meat Traceability System Introduced in U.S.
IdentiGEN's DNA TraceBack(R) system, a proprietary meat identification and traceability system based on DNA analysis, has been approved by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service as a Process Verified Program (PVP). The DNA TraceBack system enables retailers, meat producers, meat processors and food-service outlets to respond to the growing consumer demand, both domestically and in export markets, for more information about where and how their meat is produced.
IdentiGEN is a leading global provider of DNA-based identification and verification solutions for enhancing food safety and building consumer confidence in the food and agriculture industries. DNA TraceBack utilizes DNA identification technology -- in a manner akin to that used for forensic investigations -- to identify and trace the source of meat products through the entire supply chain.
The DNA TraceBack system uses IdentiGEN's proprietary ID-GENerator(TM) technology to create large numbers of unique DNA profiles at a cost of pennies per pound. Its implementation requires few modifications to current handling and processing procedures for fresh beef and pork.
"Considering that DNA TraceBack is just being introduced in the North American market, designation as a PVP is a significant milestone for IdentiGEN," said Donald R. Marvin, president and CEO of IdentiGEN North America. "This vote of confidence from the USDA in our DNA TraceBack system will help gain acceptance of the program among grocery retailers, and ultimately, consumers."
IdentiGEN's DNA TraceBack system was approved as a PVP after an extensive review and on-site audit of IdentiGEN's documented quality-management system by USDA auditors. PVP designation signifies that the USDA has verified IdentiGEN's DNA TraceBack system as a consistently reliable program in which meat processors, meat producers, retailers and consumers can have confidence.
The USDA Process Verified Program is based on the International Organization for Standardization's ISO 9000 series standards for documented quality management systems. There are currently 36 approved USDA Process Verified Programs. Additional information can be found at http://processverified.usda.gov/.
Though its process has been adopted by leading international grocery retailers, including Tesco and Superquinn in Ireland, IdentiGEN is a relative newcomer to the North American scene. Last May, IdentiGEN established its North American headquarters and high-technology laboratory for DNA analysis in Lawrence, Kan.
"We intend to make IdentiGEN a global company of consequence, and the USDA approval of our DNA TraceBack system marks a significant accomplishment towards this goal," said Patrick Cunningham, Ph.D., chairman of IdentiGEN Ltd.
IdentiGEN was founded in 1996 by a group of geneticists from Ireland's Trinity College, who developed a unique system that utilizes DNA analysis to support marketing of branded meat, verify country of origin and validate marketing claims and product attributes. DNA TraceBack can also be a major competitive positioning and risk-management tool for retailers, because it supports seamless and fast traceability in the event of a product recall.
IdentiGEN Ltd., with its North American subsidiary IdentiGEN, Inc., is a privately-held venture-backed company, and a leading provider of DNA-based solutions to the agriculture and food industries. The company was founded as a spin-out from the Institute of Genetics, Trinity College, where the company's core area of expertise -- genetic identification -- was developed and is now being deployed in a variety of ways to enhance consumer confidence in the safety and quality of food products. Through IdentiGEN's DNA-based TraceBack(R) system, retailers, meat processors, producers and local governments, for the first time, have the tools to unequivocally trace the identity of meat back to its source. IdentiGEN is also a major provider of BSE (or "mad cow disease") and GMO (or genetically-modified organism) testing services in Europe. Additional information about IdentiGEN can be found at http://www.identigen.com.
Web site: http://www.identigen.com
U.S., Michele Wells of Wells Communications, Inc., +1-303-417-0696; or Europe, Ciaran Meghen, Managing Director of IdentiGEN, Inc., +353-1-677-0221