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DNA Testing for Food

In the wake of the horse meat scandal, European authorities are asking for meat samples to undergo DNA testing to detect any contamination, but, as the Wall Street Journal reports, testing may not prevent another incident. Testing, it adds, may not catch all contaminants, and it is expensive.

"If a sample is mixed (contains DNA from more than one species) then sequencing for the unknown is not possible," Angela Bromley, the general manager of Genon Laboratories, which performs meat testing, says.

And, the Journal adds, broadening the scope of testing becomes expensive — each test, it says, costs about €400, or approximately $535. "You have to concentrate your resources where the intelligence is, and right now the problem is pork and horse," spokesperson from the UK's Food Standards Authority says.