Memphis, TN / New Orleans, LA, May 19, 2004--Eurofins Scientific is introducing the Eurofins-TAGTM traceability system to the US meat industry. Eurofins-TAGTM is an animal identification and traceability validation system that utilizes DNA fingerprint technology to strengthen existing traditional traceability schemes. The Eurofins-TAGTM traceability system was developed in the EU several years ago in response to a desire by the meat industry to regain consumer confidence following the BSE and Foot and Mouth disease outbreaks. In the EU, this system has been proven reliable in a study involving 14,000 head of cattle. The traceability certification expertise of Eurofins US and GeneScan USA has been combined to offer Eurofins-TAGTM, a high quality third-party validation of existing traceability programs, to the US meat industry.
The Eurofins-TAGTM traceability system begins with the establishment of a sampling plan that is statistically appropriate to provide the desired level of confidence of traceability. Reference Samples are collected from each animal and a Reference Database is created. The meat processor’s traceability system is then validated by comparing the DNA profile of selected meat products with the DNA profile of the appropriate Reference Sample. Following successful validation of the existing system, the client is awarded a Eurofins-TAGTM Traceability certificate. This certificate can support claims of animal origin, species, quality, birth place and/or breeding method used.
The meat industry has historically tracked individual animals through the supply chain using paper-based traceability systems and ear-tags or other physical measures. Such physical measures of tracking are vulnerable to fraud or loss due to unavoidable, natural causes. DNA traceability is an infallible method for providing traceability from each piece of meat on sale to the animal of origin. Demand among consumers for more precise methods of traceability in the meat and food supply chain has grown in recent years due to increased awareness of food safety factors and greater concern about control within the food supply.
The US cattle industry has been tested by the recent discovery of a BSE infected animal. Part of the challenge faced by the industry and government agencies was to determine the source of the infected cow and the path it traveled through the supply chain. The difficulty investigators faced when tracing the movements of the animal through the supply chain highlights the need for accurate and reliable traceability systems in the meat industry. A third party, DNA-based validation, such as that provided by Eurofins-TAGTM, will give added confidence and support to existing traceability systems and the industry’s ability to identify the animal of origin of a meat product on the store shelf.
Eurofins Scientific is a life sciences company operating internationally to provide a comprehensive range of bioanalytical support services utilizing the latest developments in biotechnology. The Group specializes in delivering analytical testing services to clients in a wide range of industries including the pharmaceutical, food, feed, pet food, animal health and dietary supplement sectors. The Eurofins Group aims to be the world market leader in the field of applied life sciences and is pursuing a dynamic expansion strategy to improve both its technology portfolio and its geographic reach. Through R&D, licensing and
acquisitions, the Group draws on the latest developments in the field to offer its clients unparalleled analytical solutions.
With over 2,000 staff members in more than 40 laboratories across 12 countries and a portfolio of around 5,000 reliable analytical methods for proving the authenticity, origin, safety, identity, and purity of biological substances, Eurofins Scientific is already a leading global provider of bioanalytical services. The Group is committed to supporting its clients’ objectives of ensuring that their products maintain the best possible quality and safety levels in all markets in which they operate. Eurofins Scientific intends to continue to develop, acquire or license the most comprehensive range of state-of-the-art analytical
technologies in order to support its clients’ increasingly stringent quality and safety standards and the demands of regulatory authorities around the world.
As a company of the Eurofins Group, GeneScan Europe AG operates in the area of quality and identity control of food and animal feed. The focus of activities is on the detection of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in seeds, agricultural commodities, semi-finished and finished products. The company meets its customers’ global requirements by operating its own analytical laboratories in Europe, North and South America and by establishing a network of strategic partners and licensees. In addition to offering analytical services, it also offers the corresponding diagnostics kits to third party laboratories. The group’s portfolio also includes design, implementation and certification of customized control programs and identity preservation
systems along the entire production chain.
The shares of Eurofins Scientific are listed on Euronext in Paris (ISIN FR0000038259) and on the Frankfurt (WKN 910251) Stock Exchange (Reuters EUFI.LN, Bloomberg ERSC FP, ESF, EUFI.DE). GeneScan-shares (WKN 586150) are listed on the Frankfurt Stock exchange (Reuters GEPG.DE).
This press release might contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgment of Eurofins and/ or GeneScan as of the date of this release. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees for future performance, and the forward-looking events discussed in this release may not occur. Eurofins and/ or GeneScan disclaim any intent or obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements.