IRMM's "Beef Gender Testing" taken up in EU legislation

May 23, 2002

Brussels, 22 May 2002

Geel (BE): EU export and import of beef carries a subsidy difference of some 130 EUROS per 100 kg of meat depending on whether the beef is declared as male (considered to be higher quality) or female. This subsidy difference requires strict legislation to ensure the correct gender declaration of beef at the EU level.

On request of DG Agriculture (market division for livestock and beef), IRMM evaluated the available methods and proposed the most promising DNA technique. 430 "blind samples" were distributed to 8 customs laboratories and a feasibility study was carried out.

The results showed that the selected method exhibited the required reliability for routine use. As a result this has now been taken up into EC Regulation 765/2002 and will enter into force on 1.07.2002.


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