April 29, 2020

Organization accredited as Administrator for U.S. participation in international standards organization activities for food products

Rockville, Maryland, April 29, 2020—AOAC INTERNATIONAL today formally announced that it will be playing a leading role in coordinating harmonized food safety standards between the United States and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

AOAC will serve as Administrator of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO Technical Committee (TC) 34 (Food products). This technical committee focuses on human and animal foodstuffs from primary production to consumption.

ISO is an independent nongovernmental organization with a membership of standards bodies from 164 countries working together to create consensus standards. By enabling products from different markets to be directly compared, harmonized standards facilitate global trade.

ISO forms various committees to accomplish its work, including technical committees with subcommittees to address specific areas.  Member countries participate by fielding a technical expertise team referred to in the US as a Technical Advisory Group (TAG). These TAGs develop and communicate national consensus positions on ISO ballots and activities, including the approval, reaffirmation, revision, and withdrawal of ISO standards.

“Active U.S. participation in international standardization is key to U.S. competitiveness,” said Sara Desautels, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) director, ISO P-Membership Services. “By influencing the standards that shape international trade, U.S. participants have an opportunity to gain important industry insights and promote U.S. interests around the globe.”

AOAC received the formal ANSI Notice of Approval of Accreditation of the U.S. TAG to ISO TC 34 and Approval as TAG Administrator on January 8, 2020.

A founding member of ISO, ANSI plays an active role in ISO’s governance and participates in nearly 80 percent of its technical programs. This includes administration of one-fifth of all ISO Technical Committees and Subcommittees, including TC 34.

Since taking on this leadership role, AOAC has recruited 14 nationally recognized experts to serve as members of the TAG.  To ensure the expertise necessary to cover the activities of the 16 subcommittees and seven working groups currently under ISO TC 34, AOAC will continue to recruit subject matter experts from academia, government, and industry sectors.

“AOAC’s new role will give U.S. stakeholders a strong and effective voice in decisions that shape the future of standards developed that will impact global food regulation,” said Palmer Orlandi, AOAC’s Chief Science Officer. “Equally important, our collaborations with ISO through TC 34 will strengthen overall efforts to harmonize global standards for food and feed safety, an achievable outcome that can have enormously positive effects on global trade.”

For information on participating in the ANSI-accredited U.S. TAG for ISO TC 34, please contact Deborah McKenzie, AOAC INTERNATIONAL Senior Director of Standards, at [email protected].