New test developed to detect GMOs in organic cotton

The Hohenstein Group has developed a reliable detection method to test for genetic modifications in organic cotton.

The detection system has been specifically optimised for textiles. Testing can be carried out on everything from raw cotton, yarns and fabrics, to ready-made end products.

The test is a two-step process. The sample is crushed beforehand. The cotton fibres are then mechanically and enzymatically broken down. The genetic material is separated from the fibres and purified through a multi-stage process.

If a marker gene is found in the DNA that indicates a genetic modification.

Organic cotton requires, among other things, the exclusion of genetically modified plants. Despite this requirement, genetic modifications are repeatedly found in textiles that are labelled organic. Reasons for this range from contaminated seeds, to cross pollination during cultivation, through to contamination of cotton fibres during processing.

And now, thanks to this test, textile companies, retailers and ultimately consumers can be reassured that end products are indeed manufactured from organic cotton.

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