Sharp rise in demand for DNA tests on meat
Companies providing DNA testing services have reported a sharp increase in trade since the horse meat controversy began, with one reporting “unprecedented” demand.
“We have been very busy,” said Ciarán Meghen, the director and co-founder of Irish DNA testing company IdentiGEN. “We are actively responding to the needs of the food industry and the regulatory authorities,” he said.
Angela Bromley, the general manager at West Yorkshire-based testing firm Genon Laboratories Ltd, said: “The level of demand is unprecedented.”
It has had to bring in extra staff and facilities to cope, with clients asking for tests, in particular for traces of horse DNA. Ms Bromley would not comment on who was requesting the tests or what the results had shown. .
Irish company Fitz Scientific does testing for microorganisms and chemicals but outsources DNA testing to the UK.
“We would have lots of food company clients but we are finding people more attentive to testing over the past few weeks,” said Michelle Kells of Fitz.
A spokesman for another company, who did not want to be identified, said that it was “testing day and night” to keep up with demand.