Could Spray-on DNA Bar Codes Help With Food Safety?

November 9, 2014

A new sort of bar code may be the future of the food industry if a California start up; DNATrek has it's way. The company, using technology that was invented at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory hopes to change the way the public is protected from food borne illness. The lab created a DNA liquid that is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. The liquid, when sprayed on food, can then be identified using a special machine that will tell where the food originated from. This technology could be used to trace an outbreak of food borne illness, and cut the time it takes to track the origin of the food from days to hours or less. 

Naysayers are concerned with the idea of spraying DNA onto something we ingest, but the science doesn't involve any genetic modification at all. The spray would coat a mixture of DNA on the surface of a fruit or vegetable that would be from a completely different type of plant. 

The cost is said to be manageable. Approximately $1.00 per 1000 pounds of food. 

More testing is going to begin next year, and Foodista will keep an eye on this story as it develops. 


What do you think? Is DNA spray the same as genetic modification? Would you want to ingest food that has been sprayed with this product? Let us know what you think! 


Unsure about DNA? We found this cool video that explains all about what it is.