FARGO, North Dakota--The North Dakota Grain Inspection Service, has devised a way to identify genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in soybean crops. Recent consumer interest and the actions of several major grain-buying companies have increased demand for this sort of technology.
The company's test costs approximately $12 per sample; it is a simple positive/negative test that works by determining whether soybeans have been altered to be Roundup-ready or immune to Roundup. The test involves grinding the soybeans, then adding water and a buffer agent. The soybean solution is then placed in a tub, and a wick is inserted which shows one red line if the test is negative and two lines if the test is positive (identifying a Roundup-ready soybean). According to the company, the test can determine if one bean in 1,000 has been modified.
The company expects that soon it will have tests available that determine whether corn has been modified with the Bt transgene, along with tests for high-oil corn and Roundup-ready corn. In Minnesota, genetic tests have been used for about a month, and some grain elevators in the area are using them, as well.