DNA Fresh Fish Bar Code Is Approved

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CANBERRA, Australia — Restaurant owners will soon be able to genetically identify the fish of the day with DNA barcoding.

In October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially approved genetic identification using the Barcode of Life Database, which now includes nearly 167,000 species.

DNA barcoding provides a standardized fingerprint that can identify a species to prevent the mislabelling of locally produced and imported seafood. A consortium of scientists from almost 50 countries is working to compile a global reference library for the Earth’s 1.8-million known species.

David Schindel, executive secretary of the Washington-based Consortium for the Barcode of Life, has started discussions with the restaurant industry and seafood suppliers about using the technology. “When they sell something that’s really expensive, they want the consumer to believe they’sre getting what they’sre paying for,” Schindel told The Associated Press. “We’sre going to start seeing a self-regulating movement by the high-end trade embracing barcoding as a mark of quality.”