There’s Nothing Fishy About These Barcodes

The Barcode of Life’s DNA barcoding was approved by the FDA and will be used to prevent the mislabeling of fish and other seafood to ensure quality.

Earlier this fall, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially approved “DNA barcoding” to prevent the mislabeling of seafood, both locally produced and imported. Essentially, the “DNA barcoding” will act as a standardized fingerprint that can identify a species, just as a standard supermarket barcode scanner would read a barcode.

This solution arrived from the Barcode of Life’s DNA Barcode Library and aims to solve the issue of mislabeling in the seafood industry. This widespread issue has cheaper types of fish being sold as a more expensive counterpart, which can pose serious health risks to humans.

The Barcode of Life has over 167,000 species in their database, so by using a short sequence of DNA, a species can be identified within their ever-growing database. By 2015, the group hopes to create a database of 5 million standardized DNA sequences, which could be used to identify 500,000 species.

Seafood lovers and restauranteurs can look forward to these “dna barcodes,” seeing them as a symbol of quality to look for when purchasing seafood. Would you be more likely to order fish at a restaurant if it was guaranteed to be fresh and as advertised? Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter page.