NCCOS Provides Guidance for the Transfer of Toxin Testing Technology to Assist Regulatory and Monitoring Agencies in Thailand
At the invitation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) researcher met with officials and scientists in Thailand to assess their toxin testing needs and infrastructure requirements for implementing the NCCOS-developed receptor binding assay (RBA) for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins. As a result of the visit, a Technical Cooperation project will proceed next year to facilitate the training of two United Nations Fellows from Thailand in performing the RBA at the NCCOS Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research laboratory and a follow-up training course in Thailand. Thailand currently analyzes over 200 shellfish samples per month for export certification.
The RBA for PSP toxins has received wide interest from countries with seafood safety concerns, as well as state regulatory labs within the U.S., as a possible alternative method for regulatory testing of shellfish. In collaboration with IAEA, NCCOS has facilitated the implementation of this method in twelve developing nations.