Task Force Overview

The Task Force is an international group of experts on marine and freshwater toxins, and stakeholders who have a strong and practical interest in the development and validation of methods for detection of these toxins. Marine toxins and freshwater toxins require extensive monitoring programs and have a significant economic and human health impact. Although there is a strong and global need for improved testing methods for these toxins, the demand for new, officially validated methods has not been met. The Task Force addresses this need by focusing efforts, setting priorities, and identifying economic and intellectual resources. The group will establish methods priorities, determine fitness for purpose, identify and review available methodology, recommend methodology for validation, and identify complementary analytical tools. Once appropriate analytical methodology has been identified or developed, the Task Force will identify financial and technical resources necessary to validate the methodology.

Task Force Communications

Most communications in the Task Force do not require in-person meetings. Electronic communications are more efficient and address most concerns in time commitment, travel funding restrictions, and internationally, time zone limitations.

Task Force membership does require active AOAC membership.  E-mail is used extensively for much Task Force business and related discussions . Occasional face-to-face meetings and conference calls are also held in conjunction with AOAC meetings (regional and national) appropriate toxin symposia, stakeholder-related meetings. Although considered optional and not built into the Terms of Reference, the Task Force has also organized international level conferences and, in recent years, many laboratory training sessions.

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