DNA’s Usefulness

DNA. Catches criminals, proves who’s your daddy, helps diagnose and cure diseases, AND proves what you are eating.

DNA techniques are so easy and accessible that even high school science students can use them effectively. Two New York City high schoolers worked with scientists at the Rockefeller University and American Museum of Natural History in 2009 to test the DNA of 66 foods found on Manhattan grocery store shelves. 11 of the 66 items were mislabeled.

Recently, an investigation by the Toronto Star discovered that the fish used by a number of Toronto sushi restaurants was being misrepresented on the menu. The Star took 12 samples and had them tested. 10 turned out to be cheaper fish types. As an example, one menu said they were using red snapper when in fact it was Mozambique tilapia, a lower priced fish.

All the guilty restaurants agreed to fix the situation immediately and no fines were laid.