DNA-based test kits combat seafood mislabeling
InstantLabs launches new tests for Atlantic and Coho salmon that provide accurate DNA verification in less than two hours.
With seafood fraud and mislabeling a global concern, InstantLabs has launched two new Species ID products that test the DNA of Atlantic and Coho salmon—delivering accurate verification in less than two hours. Created in partnership with the University of Guelph, the tests join the existing line of products that identify Atlantic blue crab, pork and horse meat.
According to InstantLabs, four salmon tests in total are planned for release during 2015. The company will launch products for Chinook and Sockeye salmon later this year and plans to develop kits for snapper, catfish, grouper and tilapia.
“Producers, wholesalers and government entities need robust tools to combat seafood fraud,” says Steven Guterman, chief executive officer of InstantLabs. “InstantLabs’ real-time PCR testing systems and reagent kits can become an integral part of a testing program to verify labeling accuracy.”
According to a recent Oceana survey, approximately one-third of all fish sold in the US is mislabeled. The US Food and Drug Administration identifies a range of lower-valued fish regularly substituted for 20 higher-priced species.
Seafood fraud made headlines this month when the Obama Administration announced a plan of action to end illegal fishing and fraud by launching a fish tracking program that would make more information—like point of origin and means of production—available to consumers. According to the White House, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing leads to global losses between $10 and $23 billion each year.
The plan will implement steps issued by a task force last year that include “measures to create and expand domestic partnerships to detect black market fishing and seafood fraud, strengthen enforcement and develop a traceability program to track seafood from harvest to entry into US commerce, beginning with the species most at risk for trafficking,” according to Brian Deese, senior advisor to the President, and Christy Goldfuss, leader of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Founded in 2008, InstantLabs is a molecular diagnostic device company that developed and markets the Hunter Accelerated-PCR system, a fully integrated, easy-to-use, portable and affordable real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) platform for rapid, accurate pathogen detection.