BfR laboratories meet international standards

On Friday, 24 May 2003 Dr. Jürgen Schulz, Head of the State Accreditation Authority Hanover (AKS), presented the President of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel, with a certificate of accreditation in accordance with the international standard ISO/IEC 17025. The certificate also confirms that the BfR laboratories meet the key requirements of quality assurance of the OECD Principles of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP). "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.

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 Good Laboratory Practice (GLP). The AKS registration of BfR can be compared with a 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. The accreditation is a good basis for all results produced by BfR finding unlimited national and international recognition.

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. Test plans are drawn up for the carrying out of tests which are than documented in the test reports.

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 drawing up of collections of methods which constitute the international standard. With this comprehensive accreditation, BfR has further secured its top position in the international concert of scientific bodies in the field of consumer health protection.

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