ASEAN Food Testing
Laboratories Experts’ Meeting
Testing Laboratories Experts’ Meeting” hosted by the National Bureau of Agricultural
Commodity and Food Standards, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of
Thailand was held on 23-24 May 2011 at Sofitel Centara Grand Bangkok Hotel,
Thailand. The aim of the meeting was to
discuss the elaboration of criteria for selecting ASEAN Reference Laboratories
which will be used as reference laboratories on food analysis and testing among
the region. Previously, with the
assistance of “ASEAN-EU Programme for Regional Integration Support”, six ASEAN
Reference Laboratories responsible by individual Member State were assigned in
specific areas including Mycotoxins and Pesticide Residues (Singapore), Genetically
Modified Organisms (Malaysia) , Veterinary Drug Residues and Heavy Metals &Trace Elements (Thailand) as well as Microbiology (Vietnam).
specific and avoid duplication of the work of reference laboratories of other
sectors in the region, the meeting decided that the “ASEAN Reference Laboratory
(ARLs)” should be
re-named as “ASEAN Food Reference Laboratories (AFRLs)”.
the two-day meeting, it was concluded that “ASEAN Food Reference Laboratories or
AFRLs will be responsible on the main task which is a
center to provide information, advice and technical training on food analysis
and testing to all laboratories in ASEAN.
In addition, AFRLs will also play a role in enhancing and supporting the
elaboration of National Food Reference Laboratories (NFRLs). Furthermore, it was agreed
that the basic requirement for the competence of the AFRLs is accredited by a recognized
Accreditation Bodies (ABs), preferably national Accreditation Bodies, based on ISO/IEC
17025 which concerns General Requirement for the Competence of Testing and
Calibration Laboratories. Consequently,
the selected and assigned laboratories will support the national food control
authorities on issue related to food and food related testing.
conclusion, this meeting provided benefits on enhancing food control system
among ASEAN region. Meanwhile, the
results and outcomes from the meeting will be circulated again for comments
from ASEAN Member States and then will subsequently be submitted for
consideration of the next ACCSQ Prepared Foodstuff Product Working Group.