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Food Safety Department Partners with Marine Biotoxins Research Lab

10 October 2012, at 1:00am

SPAIN - The general secretary of Health and president of the Spanish Food Safety Agency (AESAN), Pilar Farjas, has signed a partnership agreement with the University of Vigo to provide scientific leadership to the European Reference Laboratory in marine biotoxins.

This is a further step in the collaboration between the two institutions, which will enhance the benefits, research and teaching environment of excellence at the University of Vigo.

The agreement also reinforces the laboratory, providing it with scientific and academic experience in the field of marine biotoxins. In turn, this strengthens the good image managing the Spanish fishing sector, and its leading position in the European and international markets.

The Laboratory for marine biotoxins, which this year was moved to the campus of the University of Vigo, is one of 26 reference laboratories in the field of food throughout the European Union. These centers are essential within the European food safety system. Specifically, they support the official control laboratories of the Member States. The European Commission also requires directors of all reference laboratories (44 in total) have an internationally recognised scientific prestige. The marine biotoxin is a very specialised field, because it disciplines converge as analytical chemistry and biology. Hence the importance of having the support of a specialized academic institution.

Its features include:

  • The development of analytical methods and their harmonisation.
  • The professional training of the European network of reference laboratories.
  • Providing scientific support to the European Commission demands.

The Commission funds, €300,000 per year, a third of the total cost of the laboratory.

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