The use and importation of genetically modified (GM) crops and products derived from these crops are regulated by national and international policies, which unfortunately are often not properly implemented in some countries. Given the ongoing globalization of trade and increasing availability of GM plant products, countries like Cameroon with a weak system to regulate the importation of these products face the threat of these products entering local markets. This study investigated the presence of GM cereals and cereal-based products circulating in the local markets and supermarkets in Yaoundé, Cameroon. An inventory of cereal based products from these markets was conducted and one of the products was labeled as being derived from GM cereals crops. DNA was extracted from 26 products with a protocol using SDS guanidine thiocyanate to assess the presence of the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) gene. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to amplify the DNA fragment associated with Bt gene. Majority of the products were maize-soya based and wheat-soya based. The Bt gene was present in four of the 14 maize based products tested. The presence of the Bt gene in these cereal based products suggest the need for these products to be labeled according to international regulations.
Key words: Bt gene, invertase gene, polymerase chain reaction, guanidine thiocyanate cereal, cereal based
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