Report on GMOs

by Emily Wilson
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YOUR ARTICLE about GMO testing in the January issue of World Grain was very informative. I am the lab manager in an agricultural laboratory and would like to set up for GMO testing. How much will it cost to set up PCR? Which companies are the best source for the ELISA kit?

Mumtaz Haider

Editor's reply: The author of the Special Report on GMOs, Ken Roseboro, said the cost of PCR can run in the tens of thousands of dollars. "Lab people I've spoken with about PCR say that it requires a good amount of training to competently use the technology," he said.

The most well known ELISA kit manufacturers are Strategic Diagnostics, based in Newark, Delaware, and Envirologix, Portland, Maine. Both companies have developed lateral flow strip tests, certified by GIPSA, to detect the Starlink Cry9C protein, Roseboro said.

"PCR is the more sensitive test because it can detect the genetically modified DNA, while ELISA tests detect the protein expressed by the genetically modified DNA," Roseboro said. "PCR is a more complex technology."