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More than 2000 flax samples being tested for GMO

December 8, 2009 (Saskatoon, SK) - A Saskatoon lab that conducts testing for genetically-modified materials in flax reports they have received more than 2000 samples to date.

Quantum Biosciences Inc. (QBI) administers a construct-specific test that can detect the presence of genetically-modified materials in flax seed. CDC Triffid is the genetically-modified flax variety that was developed at the University of Saskatchewan in the 1990s.

Growers are reminded to send in a sample for each 3,000 to 5,000 bushels of flax inventory. Samples should be 1 kilogram in size and the guidelines for preparing representative samples are available from the Canadian Grain Commission. The cost of each test is $105.

Samples can be sent in a zipper-sealed bag by mail or courier to QBI. If samples are being dropped off in person, QBI is open Monday to Fridays between 8:00AM and 4:30PM (closed between 12PM and 1PM). QBI is situated in a secure building within Innovation Place, so producers will need to pick up the intercom phone in the entryway and say they have a delivery for Quantum Biosciences. The address is as follows:

Quantum Biosciences Inc.
Lab 8 – 410 Downey Road
Saskatoon, SK S7N 4N1
Ph: 306-956-2082
Fax: 306-956-2066

QBI is working hard to improve the turnaround time, and to that end has hired five new staff and purchased new equipment to reduce the sample processing time. QBI is increasing the throughput every day and has processed 650 samples to date.

“QBI is aware of the time-sensitive nature of this testing,” said Leigh Marquess, Chief Operating Officer at QBI. “We’d like to let producers know that the sensitive nature of this test requires a large amount of time to process each sample, as samples are run in triplicate and currently have six fail/safe samples run per 5 flax samples in order to ensure the accuracy and sensitivity required is met.”

QBI officially was notified that it had passed the Canadian Grain Commission proficiency test on November 23, 2009 and has been officially testing for 10 business days. Throughput will increase daily and results will continue to be released daily to producers. Official results are sent by mail, but if producers want to know sooner, they can note their email address on the form that accompanies the sample. If an email address is provided, QBI will email as soon as the results are known.

A form must accompany producers’ samples. The QBI Producer Test Form is provided here.

For more information, contact:

Linda Braun, Executive Director
Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission
Saskatoon, SK
Tel. 306-664-1901


Heather Deobald, Manager Business Development
Quantum Biosciences
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Tel. (306) 956-2082