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Bloomberg reports that Tyson Foods plans an ambitious program that will “use DNA samples from elite cattle to track steaks, roasts and even ground beef back to the ranches the animals grew up on … samples the size of a grain of rice will be taken from carcasses at the processing facility, and a company called IdentiGEN will use proprietary sets of DNA markers -- nature’s bar codes -- to identify individual animals.”

The program will be applied to Tyson’s Open Prairie brand, “which sources animals raised with no antibiotics and no added hormones.”

Kent Harrison, vice president of marketing and premium programs at Tyson Fresh Meats, tells Bloomberg that the move is a response to consumer research suggesting that “shoppers are demanding to know where their food comes from… A majority of Americans want to know everything that’s in their food, and more are trying to buy healthy and socially conscious products, according to Nielsen.”
KC's View:
It long has been an article fo faith around here that the food business is best served by policies that support as much trackability and traceability as is technologically possible. And yes, I said business is best served … it seems obvious that consumers are best served by such policies, but I also firmly believe that this is best for business, too, in the long run.

We’ve gotten pushback on that over the years, but nothing has occurred that would change my mind. If anything, I feel more strongly about it … I think customers want access to more information than ever, which doesn’t always mean that they’ll actually access it. But to know it is there and available creates trust, and trust is the coin of the realm if you are in the food business.