Genetic Testing Helping the Battle Against Counterfeiting

In light of L’Oreal’s recent lawsuit against ebay for selling fraudulent products, as well as the Colgate toothpaste recall, companies are becoming increasingly concerned about the distribution of authentic products to consumers. One company, Applied DNA Sciences , Inc. seeks to bring the latest anti-counterfeit technology into the cosmetic realm.

According to the International Chamber of Commerce’s Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau, counterfeit goods account for almost 7% of world trade, costing multinational manufacturers about 10% of their sales average. Having a fake Louis Vuitton handbag is one thing, but when it comes to pharmaceuticals, it’s comforting to know you’re getting the real deal, particularly when your health may be at stake.

Applied DNA Sciences is a New York-based security solutions company that is currently working to help manufacturers guard against fraud by securing their packaging and products with DNA embedded markers.

Their newest patented technology, called the SigNature program , can be used on artwork, textiles, currency, and even capsules. It is based upon an encrypted sequence of isolated botanical DNA that is fragmented and then rebuilt, and known only to the company. This sequence, called a DNA chimer, is then encapsulated and stored in a database, and also either embedded directly into the product or utilized in ink form on the label. To check authenticity, the product is swiped with an instant-detection DNA pen. If a color change occurs, the product is authentic. If not, you may very well have a fake on your hands, and further forensic analysis may be in order.

So, in the meantime, while we wait for these protective measures to hit the mainstream, I’d suggest you keep your receipt.

Sarah Olson
Guest Blogger