Agricultural Biotechnology Methods of Analysis

Agricultural Biotechnology Methods of Analysis
You have been asked for help by your neighbor farmer who sells some of his sweet-com
crop to the local organic Coop. He is required to deliver cobs from plants that have not
been genetically modified. Organic certification guidelines require that all of the steps in
production be completely documented. They also restrict the seed (e.g. non-GMO) and
the different methods the farmer can use to control weeds and crop pests. He is late with
deliveries and in the rush cannot find the paperwork that confirms the contents of his
storage bins. Can you advise him on a quick way to confirm his selection of produce bins
for delivery to the store?
a. Take representative samples of the bins.
b. Use the lateral flow strip method to detect a common GMO, e.g., MON81O or a
Bt detection strip. A positive result would indicate bins that are not non GMO,
while a negative result should be a good indicator of the non GMO com.
c. Select the sub-sample and numbers of strips to give the probability, e.g, 95% or
99%, that he will be required to test for the level of risk he has to confirm. Buyer
and sellers risk will depend on: safety, regulations, consumer acceptance, and
concern for negative pUblicity. This is usually agreed up front when the contracts
are negotiated.
2. You work for a large North American food producer and are responsible for advising
your export department on a new opportunity to sell breakfast cereal, with added soy for
health benefits, to customers in Europe. Your responsibility is to advise on the
appropriate analytical testing that they will need for a sale to Europe. You know that
they do not want to label the product for GMO and there is a 1% European labeling
regulation in place. You also know that soybeans and com are possibly modified for Ag
biotech traits. Needless to say they are trying to make a good profit on this sale.
a. What testing will you advise for the raw ingredients?
Test the soybeans for the Roundup Ready trait using a protein ELISA test. You
will need a result that is less than 1%. You also need to consider the other
ingredients, particularly if you are using com since modified soybean

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