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IAEA Press Release

IAEA Press Release

 The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Dr. Hans Blix, today took part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new laboratory at the IAEA's site in Seibersdorf near Vienna.

The new Laboratory will serve as a Training and Reference Centre for Food and Pesticide Control activities run jointly by IAEA and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The need for this new Centre arises from the requirement of IAEA and FAO Member States to implement national legislation and trade agreements ensuring the quality and safety of food in international trade.

In the years to come, even more global co-operation will be needed to tackle issues such as food security and quality in international trade. The new centre will be one step in this direction by addressing concerns about the presence of pesticide residues, veterinary drugs, microbial contamination, natural toxins, heavy metals and radioactive contaminants in international food trade.

Member States, especially those from the developing world, will require suitable laboratory facilities and adequately trained personnel to monitor the wide range of potential chemical and microbiological food contaminants. Moreover, the production of safe and good quality food cannot be achieved without the strict control of the quality and use of pesticides and veterinary drugs. The new Centre will help strengthen the analytical capability of Member States to control food quality and safety and to implement appropriate quality assurance and quality control systems in national testing laboratories.

Construction of the new laboratory for this Centre has started thanks to generous contributions from the Austrian Federal Government and the Governmnet of Sweden, as well as a significant contribution from FAO. It is expected that additional donor funds will be forthcoming to help the Centre fulfil its mission.

Last update: 16 Feb 2018

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