DNA Plant Technology Corp. (DNAP) of Cinnaminson, N.J., saidMonday that it has successfully used a patented plant-basedselectable marker gene, the acetolactate synthase gene (ALS),to develop genetically engineered foods.

The standard selectable marker gene used in geneticallyengineered foods has been the kan (r) gene, which is notderived from plants and can confer resistance to an antibiotic.It has been the subject of review by FDA regarding its safetywhen used as a food ingredient.

DNAP supports the position that the kan (r) gene poses no risk,but "we believe the use of a plant-derived gene in lieu of kan(r) represents a significant alternative from both a researchand a marketing standpoint," said Bob Serenbetz, president andchief executive officer of DNAP.

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