USDA Approves ViaGen AnguSure™ Test

USDA has approved ViaGen’s AnguSure™, a DNA verification test to verify the genetic heritage of animals sold as “Angus.” The test utilizes ViaGen’s patented genetic breed ID technology to quantify the amount of Angus genetics in any cattle DNA sample. The tested animal is compared to more than 275 registered Angus bulls, which have collectively sired more than 100,000 calves in the last decade, ViaGen says. In a Wednesday morning press conference, Rick Morris, CEO of Premium Gold Angus Beef (PGAB), called AnguSure “one more tool to ensure consumers receive the best premium eating experience.” He said testing indicates more than 80% of AnguSure-tested cattle graded Choice or higher, compared to 60% of “commodity” cattle. ViaGen has granted an exclusive retail license to PGAB to market the “Independently Verified by AnguSure™” testing program and the AnguSure emblem at retail. PGAB products are available nationwide through 2,500 select retailers. PGAB says the “Independently Verified by AnguSure” emblem will begin appearing on products in stores in January. ViaGen points out AnguSure is supplemental to existing requirements for all USDA-certified Angus programs. The Austin, TX-based ViaGen developed AnguSure and other similar tests to enable producers and feedlots to determine or verify breed composition of all cattle. The tests are sold directly to cattle producers to help them manage and market their animals into programs desiring breed-specific criteria, a ViaGen release says. “This is the new way of getting the right type of cattle into the right hands,” says Sara Davis, ViaGen vice president for genetic services. “Our tests provide certainty — giving producers documented predictability and consumers DNA-verification of the best beef available.”

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