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Prevalence of Genetically Modified Rice, Maize, and Soy in Saudi Food Products

Abstract

Qualitative and quantitative DNA-based methods were applied to detect genetically modified foods in samples from markets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Two hundred samples were collected from Al-Qassim, Riyadh, and Mahdina in 2009 and 2010. GMOScreen 35S and NOS test kits for the detection of genetically modified organism varieties in samples were used. The positive results obtained from GMOScreen 35S and NOS were identified using specific primer pairs. The results indicated that all rice samples gave negative results for the presence of 35S and NOS terminator. About 26 % of samples containing soybean were positive for 35S and NOS terminator and 44 % of samples containing maize were positive for the presence of 35S and/or NOS terminator. The results showed that 20.4 % of samples was positive for maize line Bt176, 8.8 % was positive for maize line Bt11, 8.8 % was positive for maize line T25, 5.9 % was positive for maize line MON 810, and 5.9 % was positive for StarLink maize. Twelve samples were shown to contain <3 % of genetically modified (GM) soy and 6 samples >10 % of GM soy. Four samples containing GM maize were shown to contain >5 % of GM maize MON 810. Four samples containing GM maize were shown to contain >1 % of StarLink maize. Establishing strong regulations and certified laboratories to monitor GM foods or crops in Saudi market is recommended.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Deanship of Scientific Research, Al-Qassim University, Qassim, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (contract number SR-D-008-45).

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Correspondence to Rafaat M. Elsanhoty.

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Elsanhoty, R.M., Al-Turki, A.I. & Ramadan, M.F. Prevalence of Genetically Modified Rice, Maize, and Soy in Saudi Food Products. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 171, 883–899 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12010-013-0405-x

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Keywords

  • Genetically modified foods
  • GMO
  • DNA extraction
  • Real-time PCR
  • Saudi market