According to BioPet, the animal biotechnology company’s IntegriMeat DNA-source verified programme aims to produce an identification and tracking programme for livestock in America. DNA samples will be taken from existing stock and new birth stock, which is known as ‘point of origin registration’. BioPet will then add the information to a database of cattle before creating a quick response (QR) code at the time of rendering. The final packaging, according to BioPet, will include a QR code and will allow consumers to see a variety of information.
President of Southern Natural Foods Jim Simpson explained that an interest in safety and how DNA applies to food safety has always been a focus of the company, which is a premier meat processor. He said: “What we recognised was the need for a programme that would encourage more integrity in food production. The name IntegriMeat symbolises that integrity can be obtained in our nation’s food supply chain.”
CEO and BioPet founder Tom Boyd said the partnership will result in consumers being able to know exactly where their food has come from. He said the two companies are the first to put the information into the consumers’ hands.
As well as offering the public DNA-source verified beef, BioPet also said the information will allow the producer to see valuable herd information. Boyd said: “Farms registered in the programme have harvest data readily available, allowing the farmer to make culling decisions based on genetic information. BioPet will soon increase the functionality of the online database to provide producers a secure, user-friendly system to manage their herds.”
According to research carried out by Corona Research in Denver, 74% of people in the US said information provided about meat adds value and can increase quality. The research also showed that 91% of people in the US would pay more for beef that could be source-verified.