Setting a Structured Food and Feed Laboratory Testing Capacity in the Arab Region
Keywords:food safety, food analysis, feed safety, official laboratory, reference laboratory, capacity buidling, arab region
Food and feed analysis is a key component in the healthy function and performance of a food control system. Sound decision making relies upon accurate food and feed test results, such as robust scientific data, to inform the risk analysis process: the foundation for establishing responsible regulatory measures. This paper presents efforts presently underway in the Arab region to structure the operation of food and feed testing laboratories and to coordinate sanitary and phytosanitary measures, as a means to stimulate intra-regional trade of food and agri-food commodities. It examines previous experiences undertaken to frame such collaborative action in food and feed testing in the European Union (EU), and, more recently in South East Asia. In addition, the outputs of a survey conducted among key opinion leaders, actors of accreditation bodies, and food competent authorities with regard to current assets and challenges faced by food and feed regulatory testing in the Arab region are discussed. Lastly, a path forward is proposed to shape the development of Arab regional Reference Laboratories, and requirements are recommended to achieve a common policy direction and criteria for the designation of such Reference Laboratories. A regional approach is introduced to promote the integration of food regulatory systems in the region, to strengthen the performance, and to enhance the reliability of food and feed testing in priority areas, with the aim to better characterize the food safety and quality realities in the Arab region.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Samuel Godefroy
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