Comprehensive GM test developed

Monday, 20 January, 2014

In response to increased demand for monitoring and labelling of genetically modified (GM) foods, scientists have developed a comprehensive method for detecting GM ingredients. It is claimed to be the first of its kind in the world.

Policymakers, particularly in Europe, have instituted regulations to monitor GM products. Although researchers have designed a number of methods to detect genetic modification in crops, no single test existed to conduct a comprehensive scan.

Li-Tao Yang and Sheng-Ce Tao and colleagues have developed a test they call MACRO, which stands for multiplex amplification on a chip with readout on an oligo microarray. It combines two well-known genetic methods that flag about 97% of the known commercialised genetic modifications - almost twice as many as other tests.

The researchers say the test can easily be expanded to include future genetically modified crops.

The test has been described in the American Chemical Society’s journal Analytical Chemistry.

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