Author Archives: Gaudenz

Pinpointing lethal bacteria within minutes

The article can be found on the website of the Globe and Mail via the following link:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/your-business/business-categories/innovation/pinpointing-lethal-bacteria-within-minutes/article1284589/

I think that such a test would greatly enhance food security and hence have important impacts on society. The need for better and faster control has been demonstrated yesterday: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency had to issue a food alert in regard with products containing hydrolised vegetable proteins which is being infected with salmonella. In specific, two pretzel brands are concerned. (Source: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2010/20100307e.shtml)

However, I don’t think that this was the primary concern for the developers. It seems rather that they have mapped a deficit in the market of food production that they can exploit for their own advantages or as they phrase it: “… growth won’t be a problem [for the company]”. Even though this seems a normal and legitimate thing to do, I would rather see the government take steps to implement such research.

Moreover, the industry is for rather obvious reasons very interested too in such a product’s rapid approval by the government. As Dr. Huffman  from Maple Leaf Corp. says “[the company] is pushing for government approval of these more rapid testing methods.” Again, I think corporations are interested rather due to the faster and less expensive method rather than their concern for public health.

Having done some further investigation, it seems that the test has been approved by government by now and that Aqua Screening has undergone a re-branding, calling itself “D-Tex” now. I assume -because of the content advertising their product – that they have successfully launched the product onto the market. (New website: http://d-tex.ca/)