DNA doesn’t lie 16/10/2015

Jono and Mike tagging wagyu calves

We are all familiar with the horsegate scandal from 2013 and the way that it shook the meat industry.

For years it has been easy for consumers to be deceived as it’s just too simple to tell somebody what they want to hear about some meat that they are buying (it’s organic, Aberdeen Angus, grassfed, 21 day hung….) and there is just no way that they are able to check up on that.

DNA ear tagsNow there is a tool that can be harnessed that will allow consumers to purchase Wagyu (or any breed for that matter) in the unequivocal knowledge that it is as advertised: DNA.

DNA doesn’t lie, it’s as simple as that. At the Yorkshire Wagyu Company we use the Wagyu Breeders Association (WBA) Geno tagging system that has been pioneered by the WBA in conjunction with TL Biolabs and Caisley tags. This tagging system takes a punch of skin from the animal’s ear as the tag is inserted. The punch of skin is then DNA tested so that it can be verified as Wagyu and each animal will be issued with a certificate stating the authenticity of its breeding. There is no room for error with the system, as the tag that is inserted in the animal’s ear is already printed with the cow’s unique 12 digit identification number, as issued by the Government. The vial that the punch of skin goes into is attached to the tag and is also printed with the same 12 digit number.

Unfortunately, when any product can be sold at a premium, there will always be those that see an opportunity to sell a fraudulent product in its place whilst still charging a premium price, but this is a rock solid identification system that gives confidence to both consumer and producer. DNA tagging of Wagyus means that, not only are consumers able to buy the product with confidence, but as producers we can have some confidence that we are able to sell our product and have a way of checking that those we are selling to are not passing off other breeds under The Yorkshire Wagyu Company brand.

British Wagyu Breeders AssociationIf you’re buying Wagyu from a retailer, you should always ask if its WBA certified. You will see this logo on the packaging. Similarly, if you’re eating Wagyu in a restaurant, ask for reassurance that it is genuine Wagyu.

For more information please visit the following websites: