It’s been a bad press week for meat. After the WHO went public with their findings on the effects of red meat and cancer, there’s more troubling news from the meat industry.
A study of both meat and vegetarian hot dogs showed that they contain unadvertised ingredients – including human DNA. Additionally, 10% of vegetarian hot dogs sold today contain traces of meat.
The human DNA isn’t thought to be as big as human flesh parts, but likely came from hygiene issues, meaning saliva and other bodily fluids made contact along the production line.
Melinda Wilkins, a professor at Michigan State University who specializes in food safety, spoke to CNN about the report.
“The use of genetic analysis in this type of setting is actually fascinating,” she said. “I think we’re going to see a lot more of this type of analysis happening, seeing how well food content matches food label.”
Having said that, the study begs for more research; the amount of human DNA found is still up for question.
“When you’re working with genetic material, depending on the analytic technique, you can detect a very, very small amount of DNA that’s not supposed to be in there,” she continued.
“So this accusation of finding human DNA in there, you can detect a very small amount, but they’re not quantifying the amount. It could be just a few cells versus a percentage content.”