What's In That Fish Stick? Give It A DNA Test

Brenda Tan and Matt Cost, high school seniors from Trinity School in New York City, used a technique called DNA barcoding to find out what species were present in over 200 animal products. Their results suggest buyers should beware! Watch video.

Some Food Labels Lie, Students Find

High school students Brenda Tan and Matt Cost recently spent four months testing the DNA of food items. Of 66 items they tested, 11 weren't what they said they were.

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

High school students Brenda Tan and Matt Cost recently spent four months testing the DNA of food items. They had help from researchers at Rockefeller University and the American Museum of Natural History.

Mr. MATT COST: I knew that we are going to, you know, be testing everything we could get our hands on, but I had no idea what we would find.

HANSEN: Matt Cost says of the 66 food items they tested, the DNA showed that 11 were mislabeled. Sheep's milk cheese was actually cow's milk. Venison dog treats were beef and the sturgeon caviar was Mississippi paddle fish.

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