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May 9, 2006

CANADA: Maple Leaf introduces commercial DNA tracing

In an effort to improve the traceability of its pork products, Maple Leaf Foods has entered into an agreement with Clinical Data to develop and commercialise its DNA traceability program.

In an effort to improve the traceability of its pork products, Maple Leaf Foods has entered into an agreement with Clinical Data to develop and commercialise its DNA traceability program.

The new system can genetically trace any pork product to its farm of origin using the Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP)-based (DNA) test. A blood sample will be taken from every sire and dam in farms where traceability is to be established, allowing the company to trace the parentage of any given pork product.

Drew Fromkin, executive vice president of Clinical Data, said: “This will be the first ever commercial deployment of a large-scale comprehensive system for pork traceability that is both economical and founded on advanced, molecular-genetic principles. The ability to trace a retail food product used for human consumption back to the farm or farms of origin offers tremendous value for producers and consumers.

“By satisfying the need for rapidly and accurately tracing a food product’s place of origin, we believe this traceability system will significantly improve food safety,” he concluded.

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