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Toxin Testing Methods Gain Support of IOC and IAEA for Transfer to Twelve Caribbean and Latin American Nations

A four-year project to transfer National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science toxin detection technology was drafted in cooperation with representatives of the environment, academic and fishery institutions of 12 Caribbean and Latin American members of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, better known as UNESCO. This technical meeting was held January 27-30 in Cuba to outline strategies for implementing the receptor binding assay (RBA) for ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) and paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins. The PSP-RBA was previously transitioned to operations in seven southeastern Asian and five African nations, and is under validation as an AOAC INTERNATIONAL Official Method of Analysis. The new project will be the first to transition the CFP method and will be conducted under sponsorship of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

CFP has the highest public health impact of all harmful algae poisonings, exceeding cost estimates for all other poisonings combined by more than twenty-fold. However, validated detection methods and regulatory limits have not yet been implemented for ciguatoxin.

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