Growing global cultivation and trading of genetically modified (GM) crops has led to increasing complexity in managing identity preservation of diverse agriculture commodities in food chain. In Saudi Arabia, public has expressed desire of having informed choice in what they are eating. This is the first study conducted to survey for the presence of genetically modified food in the Saudi Arabian markets. A total of two hundred and two samples were tested. Twenty products were found to be positive: 16 samples, three samples of corn or corn products and one sample of potato. The ground meat samples were positive as a result of added soybean. Two of the three corn samples were pop corn and corn starch, of which both were positive for the presence of the 35S promoter only. The third corn sample was a product known in the market as mixed nuts, was positive for both the 35S promoter and (NOS) terminator. The sample of potato (which was positive) was positive for both the 35S promoter and (NOS) terminator.
Key words: Genetically modified organisms, diagnosis, real time polymerase chain reaction, food, survey, Saudi Arabia.
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