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Lab has helped companies save time and money during COVID-19

A Canadian lab that has helped companies during COVID-19 avoid lengthy delays crossing the border and provided big savings with quick turnaround GMO testing of crops has expanded their state of the art facility in Saskatoon to meet the growing need.

The Genomics lab run by SGS Canada is the first lab in Canada approved by the worldwide Non-GMO Project which places a butterfly logo on food products and is especially important for snack food manufacturers.  SGS Genomics Lab tests a wide variety of crops, food and feed product including canola, soya, corn, flax, wheat and alfalfa.

SGS has been a global leader in testing and certification services to the agricultural community for more than 130 years and has operated the Genomics lab in Saskatoon since 2017.

In March, plans for the grand opening of the expanded facility had to be postponed because of the pandemic. The new state of the art facility is close to 4000 square feet with designated rooms for sample preparation, grinding, DNA extraction, and genetic testing using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) technology.  Every room is equipped with positive/negative air-pressure to avoid contamination which is crucial for a commercial GMO testing lab.

Today, SGS released a video (https://youtu.be/g4Ht80Cen-8)  that was recorded virtually to mark the launch of the facility and the start of the new crop year on August 1.  Before the lab opened three years ago, companies often sent their samples across the border to be tested, and it was challenging at the best of the times.  That became even more complicated during COVID-19.

One of the largest grain handling companies in Canada, Richardson International Limited has been working with SGS for several years.

“Recognized as a service provider of choice worldwide, The SGS team that serves our business is focused on supplying a superior and reliable level of service, which in turn contributes to our strengths as a global supplier of grains, oilseeds and food products,” says Nadia Singh, Director of Quality Assurance and Food Safety (Grain) at Richardson International.

The SGS Genomics lab works with companies across Canada and locally, including Virtex Farm Foods, a non-GMO canola crush facility in Saskatoon, which joined in today’s video launch.

“We didn’t know much about the lab until recently and were amazed when we brought our samples in at noon and they were tested and ready to go by 4 pm,” says Stanley Chukwukelu, who is manager of quality control for Virtex Farm Foods.  He adds, “In these COVID-19 days of just in time shipping, this has been very important to us.”

“We started this lab because of the need for accurate and efficient GMO testing for Canadian crops and food products.” says Dr. Tajinder Grewal, who is Chief Scientist and Head of the Genomics Lab for SGS Canada.

Grewal who was previously worked at the Saskatchewan Research Council and at the University of Saskatchewan grew up in a farming family and is passionate about agriculture.  He has been a member of the GMO Committee of International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) since 2010.

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About SGS
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 89,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world. 

To arrange an interview, please see contacts below:


MEDIA CONTACTS:

Fulvio Martinez
Head of Regional Communications
SGS North America
C: 281-714-6765

Teddy Katz,
C: 416-523-3188