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Wilmington, July 7, 2004

DuPont Qualicon BAX® System Approved for Sale by Ministry of Agriculture in Brazil

The BAX® system, a genetics-based screening method developed by DuPont Qualicon, has been approved for sale by the Ministry of Agriculture in Brazil to detect Salmonella, Listeria and L. monocytogenes in all food, environmental and carcass samples, and to detect E. coli O157:H7 in beef, poultry and pork.

The Ministry of Agriculture issued a federal license allowing the BAX® system to be sold in Brazil to help ensure the safety of Brazil’s food supply and to protect the future of its food exports, a key component to the country’s economy.

The food regulatory agency for the state of Sao Paulo, the largest state in Brazil, is now using the BAX® system to audit food companies. Most of Brazil’s major food companies, including the largest exporters, are headquartered in Sao Paulo. Brazil is the world’s second largest broiler exporter and the fourth largest pork exporter.

“The BAX® system has transformed the most advanced molecular biology concepts into the simplest, fastest food analysis method currently available,” said Dr. Neusely da Silva, microbiology director of ITAL (Food Technology Institute) in Brazil. “With the BAX® system, any quality assurance laboratory has the opportunity to work with the most sophisticated technology, just like any state-of-the-art research laboratory.” ITAL is part of the Ministry of Agriculture in Sao Paulo state and is one of the major accredited laboratories for food analysis in Brazil.

Since the Ministry of Agriculture issued a federal license for the BAX® system, this breakthrough genetics-based screening method has been selected as the method of choice by the top food companies in Brazil, including: Bertin, the largest beef producer and exporter; Perdigao, a major food processor and exporter of poultry and pork; and Seara, the largest poultry and pork exporter, as well as one of the largest meat processors in the country.

“We have found that the BAX® system is very practical and easy to use, giving accurate results faster than other methods,” said Wilson Duarte, quality assurance manager of Bertin. “Thanks to the BAX® system, the food industry can now optimize its processes, enabling companies like Bertin to release products safely and to quickly adopt corrective actions when necessary.”

“The BAX® system continues to be adopted as the standard for accuracy in foodborne pathogen testing around the world,” said Kevin Huttman, president of DuPont Qualicon. “We are pleased to now be serving food companies in Brazil, which have great importance to the global food supply. By using the BAX® system as an integral part of their food safety programs, these companies join others around the world in safeguarding our food supply and their brand names.”

Salmonella is a serious food pathogen. Although thorough cooking will kill the bacteria, cross-contamination of ready-to-eat foods can occur through contaminated utensils and hands. Each year, approximately 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported in the United States. It is estimated that 1,000 people die each year from acute salmonellosis. In Brazil, an estimated 11,000 cases are reported annually.

Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium L. monocytogenes. It affects primarily pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune systems. Of the estimated 2,500 people in the United States who become seriously ill with listeriosis each year, 500 die.

E. coli O157:H7 is an emerging cause of foodborne illness. Each year, approximately 73,000 cases of infection and 61 deaths are reported in the United States. In Brazil, an estimated 177 cases of infection are reported annually. Most of these infections have been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef.

The BAX® system is a breakthrough genetics-based screening method that detects target bacteria in raw ingredients, finished food products and environmental samples. The automated system, which takes little space and looks like a desktop computer, has been available since November 2000. More than 200 BAX® systems already are in use by governments, food companies and laboratories in 30 countries.

In addition, the global diagnostics industry overall totals $27 billion annually, with the food diagnostics industry representing more than $1.7 billion.

DuPont Qualicon provides the most advanced molecular technologies for pathogen screening. In addition to the BAX® system, DuPont Qualicon markets the patented RiboPrinter® system, the world’s only automated DNA fingerprinting instrument that rapidly pinpoints sources of bacteria in pharmaceuticals, personal care products and food.

DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by solving problems and creating solutions that make people’s lives better, safer and easier. Operating in more than 70 countries, the company offers a wide range of products and services to markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.