Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract The Australian Government Analytical Laboratories (AGAL) has historically been the major provider of chemical and micro biological analytical services to the Australian Government. An equally important role has been the provision of specialist functions associated with: •development and implementation of new and improved testing methods; •evaluation and commissioning of new instrumentation; •advice and assistance to government with the design, implementation and conduct of proficiency testing programs, particularly in areas of chemical testing related to international trade. In July 1993, in response to increasing international interest in chemical metrology, AGAL established a Valid Analytical Measurement program focused on improving the acceptability of laboratory data and supporting the development of appropriate standards through the National Standards Commission. AGAL has recently surveyed Australian residue testing laboratories to determine their priority requirements for reference materials and inter laboratory check sample programs. Survey results have clearly demonstrated a need for reasonably priced, certified reference materials for pesticide and antibiotic residue testing in raw agricultural produce. There are few reference materials available in this field of testing, particularly for residues of concern in Australia. AGAL has therefore initiated action as follows: •Preparation and certification of two priority reference materials (i) organochlorines (dieldrin and heptachlor epoxide) in animal fat, (ii) organophosphates (diazinon, chlorpyrifos and ethion) in animal fat. •Investigation of storage stability of animal liver samples containing avermectin, sulphonamide and other antibiotic residues to ascertain suitability for reference material production. In the area of proficiency testing, AGAL provides ongoing services (in close consultation with NATA, the National Association of Testing Authorities) to the Australian export meat industry. AGAL is seeking to expand this role to involve a wider range of laboratories engaged in residue testing of both export and domestic produce. The Australian Government believes it has an important role to play, particularly in the South East Asian and Pacific Rim regions, in co-operation, collaboration, assistance with training, and provision of specialist technical services.
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