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Amid spiralling government interest, world's top 350 DNA barcode scientists meet in Taipei
Date:9/14/2007

ory Fish Encyclopedia (RFE) (www.cfsan.fda.gov/~frf/rfe0.html), and barcodes have now been generated for most of these samples. An accurate barcoding method would improve species identification, which is essential in determining associated hazards, addressing economic fraud issues, and aiding in food-borne illness outbreak investigations.

"Says Dr. Schindel: "Substituted, mislabeled fish offered fraudulently in supermarkets and restaurants may be endangered species or can result in health problems C toxic pufferfish sold as something else, for example, or aqua-cultured species that might contain high loads of controlled chemicals. Barcoding could help close important markets to fish illegally caught and marketed."

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is testing barcoding to identify insects and other invertebrates in rivers and streams, critical indicators of environmental quality.

  • The Department of Agriculture is helping develop a global database of DNA barcodes for fruit flies, an important agricultural pest. Without an objective way to identify and exclude potential pests, decisions made by port inspectors could be challenged and lead to strained trade relations.

Trade of endangered timber species may also be halted by using barcodes to identify processed wood and lumber products.

Among those most excited about barcoding technology are researchers concerned with biosecurity and agricultural quarantine issues.

  • In the medical field, a European leech used in some modern surgical procedures has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a prescription medical device. Accurate knowledge and labelling of the bioactive compounds involved relies on precise species determination. But DNA barcoding shows some leeches marketed as Hirudo medicinalis are in fact other leech species, findings that
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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL)
Source:Eurekalert

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