Frequently Asked Questions

Turnaround time is dependent on the requested test. Please consult the list of Services Offered for the turnaround time for each test. Rush orders (24 hours) are available on request.
We will switch to online sample submission soon! For now, please contact us and request that the appropriate sample submission form be sent to you. Enclose a copy of the completed sample submission form with the sample, and email it back to us. Consult the list of Services Offered to ascertain the amount of sample to be submitted. Place the sample in a suitable, sealed container or bag and either send via courier to our physical address (4 Shortts Retreat Road, Mkondeni, Pietermaritzburg, 3201) or you may drop the sample off with us.
Seed samples can be transported at room temperature, but preferably with an expedited courier service. Leaves and fresh/perishable food samples must be sent via overnight courier and kept chilled with dry ice or ice packs. Some samples can also be submitted via FTA® card – please enquire about the protocol.
SciCorp Laboratories is SANAS accredited to ISO 17025 standards for GMO testing, registered by DAFF, and members of SANSOR.
We are always looking for ways to engage the broader public in the work we do. We welcome tours from academic/school groups – please enquire.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms (i.e. plants, animals or microorganisms) in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally through mating and/or natural recombination. The technology is often referred to as “modern biotechnology” or “gene technology”, and sometimes also “recombinant DNA technology” or “genetic engineering”. It allows for selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another, also between non-related species. Foods produced from or using GM organisms are often referred to as GM foods.

SciCorp is always researching and developing new tests and we have adopted a dynamic, customer/market-orientated approach to new tests. Please let us know and together we will work out a way to serve your needs.
The LOD is the Limit of Detection. This is the minimum quantity that can be detected in a test. For example, if the LOD is 0.01% (w/w), the test will only be positive if there is 0.01% (w/w) or more of the tested analyte present in the sample. The LOQ is the Limit of Quantification. This is the lowest value that can be accurately quantified by the test. If the amount of analyte is less than the LOQ, this will be stated in the results as Below LOQ.
When seed samples arrive in the laboratory, it is important that the laboratory staff are aware of any treatment that has been applied to the seed. Besides an increased health risk to laboratory staff, some tests require that the treatment or coating be washed off as much as possible so that the treatment/coating does not interfere with the test itself.
Customer confidentiality is one of the corner stones of SciCorp Laboratories. Upon arrival in the laboratory, each order/sample is assigned a unique sequential sample number and staff applies utmost professionality regarding samples information.
GMO certificates are valid for six months from date of issue.
If you are submitting plant material to SciCorp Laboratories from outside South Africa, please contact us to enquire about import permits for your country. If we do not have an import permit for your country, we will apply for one. All plant material entering South Africa requires a phytosanitary certificate from the exporting country’s authorities. The only exception is if the plant material is coming from a facility that is officially exempt.

Yes, SciCorp Laboratories is registered as a Biotechnology Lab and is also a registered laboratory in terms of the Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997:
If your question is not answered, please feel free to contact us and one of our scientists or staff members will endeavour to answer your question.