AOAC RI LAUNCHES EMERGENCY RESPONSE VALIDATION PROGRAM:
SALMONELLA IN PEANUT BUTTER
February 12, 2009
Gaithersburg, Maryland, February 12, 2009: In recent weeks, many consumers have been sickened and nine have died from an outbreak of Salmonella in peanut butter and peanut butter products, resulting in the biggest food recall in U.S. history. The AOAC Research Institute, a subsidiary of AOAC INTERNATIONAL, has launched a new program, Emergency Response Validation (ERV), which is designed to respond immediately to emerging food contamination crises by rapidly evaluating candidate methods once a crisis is identified.
The ERV program is based on the Performance-Tested MethodsSM (PTM) program operated by the AOAC Research Institute. Candidate test kit methods will be evaluated using blind coded samples and the results reviewed by the AOAC General Referee for Microbiology. Q Laboratories, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio, has been selected as the independent laboratory. Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have agreed to participate in the project and will compare analytical results between the FDA Bacteriological Analytical Manual (BAM) method and the Health Canada method for the detection of Salmonella.
On January 30, 2009, eight companies submitted 12 test kit methods for evaluation. Samples are now being prepared by Q Laboratories, Inc. The evaluation of the candidate methods is scheduled to start on February 23, 2009. The review of the laboratory test results is scheduled for completion on March 4, 2009. A list of test kit methods validated for the detection of Salmonella species in peanut butter will be posted to the AOAC Research Institute website on or about March 25, 2009.
PTMs approved for Salmonella species in peanut butter will receive a special Certificate of Validation and will add to the number of currently validated methods providing investigators, food regulators, and the industry with more validated methods to choose from.
The ERV program takes advantage of the existing pool of PTMs and AOAC Official Methods of AnalysisSM. All of these methods have been extensively evaluated, but may not have been evaluated for the specific contaminant and food type associated with the emerging contamination crisis. The ERV program is designed to evaluate these previously AOAC-approved methods for the specific contaminant and food type causing the crisis, in this case Salmonella species in peanut butter products. For an up-to-date list of PTMs, visit http://www.aoac.org/testkits/testedmethods.html
AOAC INTERNATIONAL is a globally recognized, independent, not-for-profit association founded in 1884. AOAC serves the analytical sciences community by providing validated methods and technical standards that give confidence in analytical results. For more information contact Zerlinde Johnson at 301 924 7077 ext. 134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
AOAC Stakeholders Panel on Veterinary Drug Residues Comes to Consensus on Fitness-for-Purpose
February 9, 2009
An expert review panel (ERP) is planned for early March at AOAC headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, to determine candidate method(s) for ractopamine, a veterinary drug, in animal tissues. Armed with a fitness-for-purpose statement developed by AOAC, with input from Elanco Animal Health, and from stakeholders who met in October, ractopamine will be the first in a series of veterinary drugs under review. Future ERPs will be convened for tylosin, monensin, and narasin.
With ractopamine used worldwide, and with much of the current methodology decidedly out of date, a new AOAC Official MethodSM is needed for the analysis of ractopamine in animal tissues (swine and cattle) according to the some 50 key stakeholders from government, industry, academia, trade and contract research organizations, and animal drug manufacturers who met on October 2-3, 2008.
To address specific analytical issues, working groups were formed to (1) consider the composition and make recommendations for the membership of the larger stakeholders group, with, in particular, a focus on ensuring balance (i.e., the number of members from industry, academia, governments, etc.) and international representation; (2) address the critical issue of applicable maximum residue limits established worldwide; (3) determine method performance criteria; and (4) address the need for confirmation of analyte identification, quality assurance, laboratory certification, etc.
Coverage of the AOAC Stakeholders Panel on Veterinary Drug Residues is scheduled for the January/February issue of Inside Laboratory Management
For more information, or if you would like to be part of the work of the Stakeholders Panel on Veterinary Drug R"sidues, contact Bob Rathb one, senior director, publications and method validation and evaluation at email@example.com or Al Pohland, chief scientific officer, chemistry, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IRS Deems Green Tea, Vitamins D and B, Milk Thistle, Cranberries, and Turmeric Priorities; Call for Methods Issued
February 9, 2009
On January 22, the Ingredient Ranking Subgroup (IRS), made up of dietary supplement experts from trade, government, and industry, judged green tea, Vitamin D, Vitamin B (B6 and B12), milk thistle, anthocyanins (cranberries), and turmeric as high-priority ingredients for which validated methods are urgently needed. As part of a new contract with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), AOAC is now issuing an urgent call for methods for these ingredients, with the exception of green tea.
A high-priority ingredient, green tea is already undergoing a single-laboratory validation by NIH. Therefore, methods are not as urgently needed as for the other ingredients deemed priority.
According to the IRS, green tea, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, milk thistle, cranberries, and turmeric are all striking a chord with more and more health-conscious consumers. These ingredients have all seen phenomenal growth in the industry, and scientific data links them to a whole host of health benefits. The IRS prioritizes ingredients based on a number of criteria, including need for methods, source of funding, and sales and market trend data.
AOAC is issuing an urgent call for methods for Vitamin D, Vitamin B, milk thistle, cranberries, and turmeric. AOAC welcomes methods from the dietary supplements industry, government, and academia. Please send the reference, the paper itself, or electronic copy of the method, as well as any available validation data, and indicate whether reference standards are available and, if so, their source.
Deadline to submit methods is March 1, 2009. For more information, or to submit your methods, contact Bob Rathbone, Senior Director of Publications and Method Validation, at email@example.com.
Coverage of the IRS meeting is scheduled for the January/February issue of Inside Laboratory Management.
Responders and Public Health Groups Comment on Revising Sampling Standard
January 30, 2009
Since signing on May 16, 2008, a contract with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA) to revise Official MethodSM 2006.04 (published as ASTM E2458-06, and as a national sampling standard for collecting, packaging, and transporting visible powder samples suspected of being biological agents), AOAC has established two focus groups—Responders and Public Health--that are directly affected by the revision of the standard. The focus groups have determined that the sample collection standard is not flawed as was expected, but that additional guidance is needed to support it.
In conjunction with the 3rd National Conference on Environmental Sampling and Detection of Biothreat Agents in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, in early December, the Responders and Public Health (including representatives from the Laboratory Response Network) Focus Groups, as well as additional key representatives from other organizations, including the FBI, CDC, NIST, and OSHA, convened to discuss and identify key concerns to revising ASTM E2458-06, Standard Practices for Bulk Sample Collection and Swab Sample Collection of Visible Powders Suspected of Being Biological Agents from Nonporous Surfaces.
In implementing the standard, it was previously determined that a need exists for additional review and input from responders and trainers of responders, public health, and law enforcement agencies to better meet their needs. After review of the sampling standard by stakeholders from the two inter-related communities, however, it was determined that the standard was not flawed as was expected. Instead, stakeholders indicated that the lack of sufficient guidance to support the sample collection was a problem. The communities agreed that a standard method for powder collection was not complete without the guidance to support the decision to collect a sample. Guidance to handle the cascade of events resulting from the decision to sample was also not available. These events include screening to protect the laboratory, methods of communication at all levels (local, state, and federal), and response measures. Currently, NIST and AOAC are evaluating mechanisms at both ASTM and AOAC to develop the requested guidance to support and revise the standard.
In revising the standard, AOAC and NIST are currently collecting, compiling, and addressing comments from stakeholders, especially those from the responders and public health agencies, which would improve the current standard. As part of the revision, it is being decided how to best include the general guidance information (as annexes or appendices to the standard or as a separate guidance document) requested by the focus groups. As of press time, the standard (to address comments and guidance information requested by stakeholders) is scheduled to be reviewed on January 21, 2009, by the Sampling Standard Task Group (SSTG), which was formed in 2006 and developed the original validated national standard for the sampling of suspicious powders that was approved by AOAC and ASTM. The final report will be reviewed by the AOAC Methods Committee on Biological Threat Agents and ASTM for approval.
For more information on the SSTG meeting, contact Arlene Fox, Senior Director of Proficiency Testing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: +1-301-924-7077 ext. 143. Full coverage of the latest on the NIST sampling initiative will be included in the January/February issue of Inside Laboratory Management.
DeVries Wins 2009 Wiley Award
January 5, 2009
AOAC congratulates Jonathan DeVries as this year's recipient of the Harvey W. Wiley Award, the Association's top scientific honor, given annually for lifetime achievements in analytical chemistry. DeVries has been in the field for decades, more than three of them at General Mills' Medallion Laboratories, where he is currently Senior Technical Manager.
"I'd say that in thirty-one years I've probably had about two dull weeks," DeVries said.
His work includes methods for vitamins and sugars in foods (his group's method for Vitamin A eventually became an AOAC Official Method of AnalysisSM), mycotoxins, pesticide residues, packaging-ink residues, microwave susceptors, and practically anything else that might be relevant to food products ranging from grains to dairy, fruit juices, and even seafood. One 5-year task was the collaborative development of what would eventually become the world standard for dietary fiber: AOAC Official MethodSM 985.29.
Throughout his career, DeVries became increasingly involved with AOAC. From the start at General Mills, he participated in collaborative studies. Soon he was associate referee for automated methods for vitamins, then secretary for the Methods Committee on Food and Nutrition. By the early 1990s, he was chair of the committee, then chair of the Official Methods Board. He also headed up an AOAC task force on appropriate methods for implementing the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act of 1990, and in 1998 began serving on the AOAC Board of Directors. From 2003 to 2004, he was president of AOAC, and even now, rather than retiring, he remains on the Board of Directors as treasurer.
DeVries finds gratification in his volunteer work at AOAC by “seeing good, solid analytical methods being adopted as Official Methods of AnalysisSM. It's also gratifying to see the AOAC process working to minimize the chance of inadequate methods getting through the system," he said.
DeVries graduated from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and went on to receive his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Minnesota.
Full coverage of the 2009 Wiley Award winner is scheduled for the January/February issue of Inside Laboratory Management.
New Dietary Supplement Method for Aconite Granted First Action Status;
December 17, 2008
Determines Potentially Toxic Compounds in Consumer Products and Raw Materials
AOAC on November 14, 2008, adopted as Official First Action 2008.11 a method for determining aconite in dietary supplements and raw botanical materials. The method, developed by Siu-kay Wong of the Hong Kong Government Laboratory under AOAC's recently completed contract with the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements, is the first method approved for determining aconitum alkaloids, derived from aconite root, used in many dietary supplements for enhancing sexual ability and circulation, restoring health, and relieving pain.
The absence previously of a standardized method for processing aconite roots has resulted in drastic variation in the alkaloids contents, and, hence, the safety of supplement products containing aconite roots. The new method, “Determination of Aconitum Alkaloids in Dietary Supplements and Raw Botanical Materials Using LC-UV with Confirmation by LC/MS,” allows dietary supplement manufacturers to set quality standards and regulatory agencies to monitor the safe use of dietary supplements containing aconite roots.
The diester-diterpene Aconitum alkaloids are highly toxic compounds and commonly present in the aconite roots. Cases of intoxication arising from consumption of improperly processed aconite roots have been reported in many countries. Proper processing by heating, steaming, and soaking of the aconite roots is critical in hydrolyzing the highly toxic diester-diterpene Aconitum alkaloids to compounds of much lower toxicity.
For the full collaborative study, see the January/February issue of the Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL. Full coverage of this method and other initiatives being developed under the newest NIH/AOAC will be included in the January/February issue of Inside Laboratory Management.
High-Throughput Methods for Detecting Foodborne Pathogens Workshop
November 20, 2008
A hands-on laboratory workshop highlighting regulatory and industry experiences will be held May 6-7, 2009, at the FDA Northeast Regional Laboratory in New York City, New York, USA. This three-day workshop will feature in-depth presentations and hands-on laboratory sessions on the detection of foodborne pathogens.
Experts from FDA, CDC, USDA, AOAC INTERNATIONAL and industry will present case studies and the latest information on a variety of microbiological analytical approaches. The workshop is sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, AOAC INTERNATIONAL, York College of the City University of New York, and the Greater Jamaica Development Corp.
Agenda details will be available at a later date. For additional information and to register, visit www.yorkfdaworkshops.or or call 1-718-262-2790.
Call for Nominations
November 7, 2008
The AOAC Nominating Committee is seeking potential nominees for President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and two members of the Board of Directors for 2009-2010. In accordance with the AOAC Bylaws, the Nominating Committee is charged with recommending a slate of potential nominees to be placed on the ballot for general election by the membership. Candidates who possess the following qualifications should be considered for nomination:
- Membership in the Association
- The potential to assume an Association leadership role
- Knowledge and experience with the purpose and activities of the Association
- Demonstrated ability to bring stakeholders to the Association
For a complete list of qualifications and responsibilities, click here.
To submit a recommendation form, click here.
Deadline for receipt of nominations is January 31, 2009.
For more information, e-mail Alicia Meiklejohn, Executive Assistant—Governance, at AMeiklejohn@aoac.org.
Call for Methods (Ractopamine, Tylosin, Monensin, and Narasin) and Experts
October 31, 2008
AOAC has embarked on a global effort to identify tissue residue methods for the determination of four animal health drugs: ractopamine, tylosin, monensin, and narasin. The methods assembled will be reviewed by an Expert Review Panel (ERP), and a “candidate method” for each drug will be selected by the ERP for further evaluation and validation (single laboratory and multilaboratory).
Interested parties (industry, government, and academia) are invited to submit tissue residue methods for these animal health drugs, including a summary of validation data, to Al Pohland, AOAC Chief Scientific Officer, at email@example.com by December 19, 2008.
In addition, AOAC invites all experts in animal drug tissue residue methodology to join our pool of experts for animal health drugs, from which ERP members will be selected. CVs may be submitted to Al Pohland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact Bob Rathbone, AOAC Senior Director of Publications and Method Validation, at email@example.com.
The Great Collaboration, 25 Years of Change
October 27, 2008
New Book Will Celebrate 125 Years of AOAC
A new book, The Great Collaboration, 25 Years of Change, is a look at AOAC’s history over the last 25 years, documenting the Association’s transformation from a governmental organization focused on method validation to one of identifying analytical communities and methods needs, and developing third-party consensus solutions. Commemorating the Association’s milestone anniversary of 125 years, the book is scheduled to be released at the 123rd AOAC Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, in September 2009.
AOAC’s history is told, in part, through interviews with Association presidents, executive directors, Board members, method volunteers, and constituents from industry and government. Author Al Pohland, AOAC chief scientific officer, sets the stage in Part 1 by reviewing the previous book, “The Great Collaboration,” that describes AOAC’s first 100 years. Part 2 takes a look at new directions for AOAC, with the growth of the test kit validation program, proficiency testing program, short courses, and technical divisions. Finally, Part 3 depicts the Association’s new operating culture and business model, including formation of task forces, securing and executing contracts, and the growing concept of communities.
For more information on The Great Collaboration, 25 Years of Change, see the upcoming January/February issue of Inside Laboratory Management.
122nd AOAC Annual Meeting: Numbers Prove It Was a Success
October 21, 2008
Eight hundred sixty-two members from around the world came together to examine the latest scientific research and technological developments at the AOAC Annual Meeting and Exposition (September 21-24, 2008) in Dallas, Texas, USA. Also generating much enthusiasm were new contracts, new communities, new Organizational Affiliates, and a thriving business model, all ensuring that the Association continues to be relevant to the scientific community in evaluating and validating methods most needed.
A look at the numbers prove that Dallas was an important place to be. International attendance was particularly strong, making up more than one quarter of attendees. Members attended from 42 different countries with the largest international contingents arriving from Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Thailand, Germany, and Brazil. Sixty-two exhibitors filled the hall to capacity. Twenty-seven different symposia were held over 3 days with a range of topics as broad as the expertise of AOAC’s members. Two hundred sixty-two posters were presented. Three new members were named to the Board of Directors. And one new president, Darryl M. Sullivan of Covance Laboratories, is enthusiastically challenging 1,000 members to attend next year’s meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, as AOAC celebrates its 125th anniversary.
Full coverage of the 122nd AOAC Annual Meeting and Exposition is included in the November/December issue of Inside Laboratory Management.
AOAC Announces New President
October 15, 2008
AOAC announces Darryl Sullivan as president of the Association for 2008-2009. Sullivan, director of scientific affairs at Covance Laboratories, based in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, has been involved with methods validation for almost 30 years. “Becoming president of AOAC is an accomplishment of a lifetime, bringing together my career with Covance, the Association, and the scientific community,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan sets an ambitious agenda for his presidency, saying he would like to see AOAC expand upon its current activities. “I’d like to continue the momentum of what AOAC is already doing such as in the areas of homeland security, dietary supplements, veterinary drugs, and infant formula,” he said. “And we’ve scratched the surface of seafood and food safety. We’re touching upon some great opportunities, let’s get them up and running, and see them thrive.”
Sullivan has been a highly active member of AOAC ever since he joined in 1980. A Fellow of AOAC, Sullivan has been on the Board of Directors since 2004 and served as secretary in 2007. He was also chair of the Official Methods Board (OMB), a director on the AOAC Research Institute Board, a founding member and past-chair of the Presidential Task Force on Dietary Supplements, a member of the Task Force on Bacillus anthracis, a founding member of the AOAC Technical Division on Reference Materials (TDRM), and a member of the TDRM’s Executive Board. Sullivan is currently an Official MethodsSM validation expert on the Stakeholders Panel on Agent Detection Assays (SPADA).
Full coverage of Sullivan’s goals and initiatives for the upcoming year, as well as an in-depth interview, is included in the November/December issue of Inside Laboratory Management.
Announcing the 2008–2009 AOAC Board of Directors
October 15, 2008
AOAC announces the following members of the 2008-2009 Board of Directors, who assumed their positions immediately after the Business Meeting on September 24, 2008, at the 122nd AOAC Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas, USA:
Darryl M. Sullivan, President (Covance Laboratories, Madison, Wisconsin, USA);
Samuel W. Page, Past President (New Castle, New Hampshire, USA);
Gayle A. Lancette, President-Elect, (U.S. Food and Drug Administration--Retired, Peachtree City, Georgia, USA);
Jonathan W. DeVries, Sr., Treasurer (Medallion Laboratories, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA);
Russell S. Flowers, Secretary (Silliker Group Corp., Homewood, Illinois, USA);
Stan W. Bacler, Director (Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada);
Mark R. Coleman, Director (Eli Lilly and Co./Elanco Animal Health, Greenfield, Indiana, USA);
Douglas A. Hite, Director (Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Nashville, Tennessee, USA);
Xiumei Liu, Director (Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, People’s Republic of China);
Hilde Skaar Norli, Director (Nordic Committee on Food Analysis, Oslo, Norway);
Barry D. Titlow, Director (Compound Solutions, Inc., Escondido, California, USA);
Robert E. Brackett, Director at Large (Grocery Manufacturers Association, Washington, DC, USA);
James M. Harnly, Director at Large (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland, USA);
Ronald L. Johnson, Director at Large (bioMerieux, Inc., Hazelwood, Missouri, USA).
|Upcoming Board of Directors Meetings
December 8-9, 2008
Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA
April 6-7, 2009
Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA
June 22-23, 2009
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
September 13, 2009
123rd AOAC Annual Meeting and Exposition
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
CLICK TO ENLARGE
2008-2009 AOAC Board of Directors: (seated, l to r) Xiumei Liu, Gayle Lancette, Darryl Sullivan, Sam Page, Russ Flowers, and Hilde Skaar Norli; (standing, l to r) James Harnly, Mark Coleman, Ronald Johnson, Douglas Hite, Stan Bacler, and Robert Brackett (not pictured, Jonathan DeVries and Barry Titlow).
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