Trinity spin-off gets vital US Government approval


7 Nov 2007

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A Trinity College technology company that has developed a unique DNA traceability system has received a vital approval by the US Department of Agriculture that will enable the company to actively target the US retail market.

IdentiGen allows retailers, meat producers, meat processors and food service outlets to provide more information to consumers about where and how their meat is produced.

The company, which last year scooped a landmark deal with Tesco, has developed a DNA system that assures both the quality and safety of beef and pork by guaranteeing the source of the products throughout the entire supply chain, from the farmer to the consumer’s plate.

IdentiGen this week received approval from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service as a Process Verified Programme (PVP).

“Considering that DNA TraceBack is just being introduced in the North American market, designation as a PVP is a significant milestone for IdentiGen,” said Donald Marvin, president and CEO of IdentiGen North America.

“This vote of confidence from the USDA in our DNA TraceBack system will help gain acceptance of the program among grocery retailers, and ultimately, consumers,” Marvin added.

IdentiGen’s DNA TraceBack system was approved as a PVP after an extensive review and on-site audit of IdentiGEN’s documented quality-management system by USDA auditors.

Although its process has been adopted by leading international grocery retailers, including Tesco and Superquinn in Ireland, IdentiGen is a relative newcomer to the North American scene.

Last May, IdentiGen established its North American headquarters and high-technology laboratory for DNA analysis in Kansas.

The company was founded in 1996 by a group of geneticists from Trinity College who found a way of verifying the origin of meat products using DNA identification similar to the use of DNA for high-tech forensic investigations in humans.

By John Kennedy