Through the Laboratory Approval Service (LAS), AMS develops and administers laboratory approval programs to enhance and expand export market access for US commodities by verifying and monitoring that the analyses of products destined to be exported or sold meet various countries’ or customers’ requirements. Through these programs, LAS ensures the testing of products offered for marketing is conducted by qualified and approved laboratories. LAS collaborates with food and agricultural industries and Federal agencies to administer comprehensive programs that meet their trading needs.
Currently, LAS administers three overarching laboratory approval programs—aflatoxin testing in tree and ground nuts, export verification for meat and poultry products, and component and cell count testing for Milk Market Administrator laboratories.
Laboratories must meet the program requirements which include following good laboratory practices and quality assurance and control practices, abiding by applicable domestic and international standards (such as ISO 17025), using established methods and accepted equipment, and passing on-site audits. Laboratories voluntarily apply and pay program fees to participate in this user-fee funded program.
In addition to administering laboratory approval programs, the LAS staff provides scientific and technical support to AMS commodity programs, other Federal Agencies, and to the food and agricultural communities to facilitate domestic and international marketing of agricultural commodities.