July 29, 2011

DNA "taggant" for packaging and labels could prevent counterfeiting

Plant-based genetic marker will be used on cartons, labels to authenticate products and detect counterfeiting.

By DC Velocity Staff

Counterfeiting has become a very real problem for food and consumer products supply chains—one that's costing these industries billions of dollars a year worldwide. A recent story in our sister publication, CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly, outlined several strategies for cracking down on counterfeiting. Now comes word of a surprising new tool for preventing counterfeit packaging from entering the supply chain: DNA.

Deoxyribonucleic acid, it turns out, could eventually become as common in the manufacturing plant or the warehouse as it is in crime investigations. DISC Graphics, a producer of packaging and print for the entertainment media, beauty, health-care, private label, and consumer products industries, will offer DNA "taggants" for use in its folding cartons and pressure-sensitive labels. According to Applied DNA Sciences Inc., the developer of the patented taggant, its SigNature DNA is a plant-derived mark that cannot be copied and can provide a "forensic chain of evidence" to authenticate products, including packaging and labels.

Maybe someday we'll see a new addition to the networks' crime-show lineup: "CSI Supply Chain."

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