The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced today the addition of ochratoxin A (OTA) testing for pistachios destined to the European Union (EU) under the USDA Laboratory Approval Program (LAP). The addition was made at the request of the Administrative Committee for Pistachios to meet the new EU OTA testing requirement under Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006. The testing of OTA, a mycotoxin, was added to the existing Laboratory Approval Program for Analysis of Aflatoxins and the program was re-branded to the Laboratory Approval Program for Analysis of Mycotoxins (LAP-Mycotoxins).
The re-branded program is effective January 13, 2023. Laboratories must be approved under the LAP-Mycotoxins to provide OTA testing for pistachios destined for the EU. Five laboratories were approved and the LAP-Mycotoxins Official Listing of USDA and USDA-Approved Laboratories was updated to reflect the approved laboratories.
Through the LAP-Mycotoxins, AMS’ Laboratory Approval Service (LAS) approves, or accredits, laboratories to perform testing services in support of domestic and international trade. At the request of industry, other Federal agencies, or foreign governments, LAS administers laboratory approval programs to verify that the analysis of food and agricultural products meet country or customer-specified requirements and ensures that the testing of products to be marketed is conducted by qualified and approved laboratories. LAP requirements include good laboratory, quality assurance and control practices, applicable domestic and international standards (such as ISO/IEC 17025), established methods and accepted equipment, and audits. Laboratories voluntarily participate and pay program fees.
Additional information about LAP-Mycotoxins, including how to apply, is available on the AMS website at the LAP-Mycotoxins page. For more information, contact the AMS Science & Technology Program, Laboratory Approval Service at LAS@usda.gov.
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