The developments were made over the last few months in response to increasing demand for transparency within the supply chain and from consumers.
Dr Hermann Rüggeberg of the DNA analysis company in Bremerhaven said; “We have expanded our testing capabilities to identify many changes in the DNA of cotton. Most significantly, the distinction between the lower and higher percentage of genetically modified cotton present in the sample.
“Our analytical process involves exact quantitative measurements, only possible by using state-of-the-art real-time ‘polymerase chain reaction’* technologies alongside our other testing methods. For example, specific DNA sections of genetically modified insect resistant cotton can now be identified and quantified.”
Previously, a positive screening result indicated a genetic modification, which only allowed a positive or negative diagnosis of genetically modified cotton. These new methods of analysis allow the immediate and definite classification of genetically modified plants.
The recent claims of laboratories testing finished textiles are addressed by Impetus Bioscience’s Dr Lothar Kruse; “Other laboratories have claimed that a limit of up to 0.1 percent of genetically modified components in cotton can be found in finished textiles, but based on our experience we consider this sweeping statement unrealistic. There is no general limit of quantification and this is always dependent on the amount of DNA that can be isolated from a sample.”
Dr Kruse further explains; “As the degree of processing of a sample increases, the limit of quantification always decreases - so the sensitivity decreases. However, the latest developments in our offering now also allow the examination of the end product, which previously couldn’t be analysed.”
Bill Kingdon, ICA Bremen’s Managing Director said; “We are excited about the developments made by Impetus Bioscience and hope this will further strengthen our partnership with them by expanding the services we offer to the global cotton community.”
*Polymerase chain reaction is a method of making multiple copies of a DNA sequence, involving repeated reactions with a polymerase.
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