The Irish Farmers’ Association has announced that sample testing as part of the ‘DNA certified’ Programme for pigmeat has begun, which will expose misleading labelling and provide an assurance for producers and consumers on the origin of pigmeat.
The ‘DNA Certified’ Programme will allow for the scientific assessment of the origin of pigmeat products by tracing actual pigmeat product rather than associated labels. Employing the expertise of IdentiGEN, which is pioneering the development of DNA based traceability solutions globally, the Programme will involve the profiling of all boar samples using a proprietary panel of DNA markers and the development of a database that will contain the DNA of every Irish boar serving sows in the country.
Non-compliance will be recorded when a number of samples from the same source are found not to match the database, highlighting the presence of non-Irish pigmeat. The IFA will collect meat samples labelled as Irish on an ongoing basis, which will be checked against the database. If they do not match up, the mislabelling will be exposed.
The Chief Executive of Bord Bia Aidan Cotter said “This DNA-certified initiative will provide the highest level of traceability that exists anywhere in the world. Pig producers here operate to the most stringent standards as part of the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme. The partnership with IdentiGEN will safeguard Irish pig producers by ensuring that processors guilty of passing off imports as Irish will be exposed.”
Tuesday September 4, 2012/ IFA/ Ireland.