Analytical Laboratories Contribute to Food Safety in Latin America and the Caribbean Region
6 Dec 2011 -- A weeklong final coordination meeting on assessing the impact of pesticides on food and the environment concluded with a high-level meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica last week. Government representatives from Brazil, Ecuador and El Salvador joined the Costa Rican Minister of Science and Technology, the Vice-president of the University of Costa Rica and IAEA officials.
Scientists from a network of analytical laboratories in ten Latin American and Caribbean countries presented the results of their research spanning over three years. The laboratory network has proved to be a cost-effective way to improve agricultural practices whilst meeting regulatory requirements for maximum levels of pesticides in foods.
Successful technology transfer has also lead to a core of laboratories in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Uruguay that meet international acceptance criteria for the control of veterinary drug residues in food, and that are helping to build capacity in other countries in the region. The result of these initiatives is enhanced food safety for the consumer, improved access to domestic, regional and global trade, and better control of agricultural inputs to help ensure a sustainable environment.
A side event, re-designating the Centro de Investigación en Contaminación Ambiental (CICA) of the University of Costa Rica as an IAEA collaborating centre for eLearning and Accelerated Capacity Building for Food and Environmental Protection concluded the meeting.
Story in Spanish [pdf]