In Germany the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has received the all-important certificate of accreditation for food quality research.
The award was made in accordance with the international standard ISO/IEC 17025, which confirms that BfR laboratories meets the key requirements of quality assurance of the OECD Principles of Good Laboratory Practice .
"The research and test results obtained in the BfR laboratories in respect of the safety of foods, substances and products meet the high requirements which the European Union and the relevant international bodies demand", said Andreas Hensel, president of BfR.
In its capacity as an independent body, the State Accreditation Authority Hanover (AKS) examines whether laboratories comply with the ISO/IEC standard and the OECD Principles of GLP. The AKS registration of BfR can be compared with an MOT-like seal of approval from the international scientific community. It testifies to the comprehensive competence of the laboratories involved in the analytical and microbiological fields when it comes to testing and research.
Whereas today accreditation is almost a matter of course in the fields of standard tests of foods, substances and products, accreditation is rarely granted at present to research-oriented laboratories and institutions like BfR for instance which elaborates new analytical methods.
Accredited laboratories work in accordance with uniform standards. By means of so-called standard operating procedures, all procedures from sampling down to the evaluation of the measurement results are laid down according to uniform criteria. Furthermore, it is ensured that the appliances meet certain standards and that compliance with these standards is regularly monitored. What's more, all sequences in the laboratory are documented fully. Plans are drawn up for carrying out tests which are than documented in the test reports.
It is commonly believed that without confirmation of technical competence by an independent third party (accreditation), it will become increasingly difficult in future in the field of top international research to take part in international research projects and to get a hearing for results obtained or research findings elaborated. This applies in particular to participation in the of collections of methods which constitute the international standard.
With this comprehensive accreditation, BfR says that it has further secured its top position in the international concert of scientific bodies in the field of consumer health protection.