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International Analytical Agency Greenlights Shellfish Toxin Detection Method

NCCOS scientists developed a detection method for paralytic shellfish toxins in shellfish. This method is now approved by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC International) as an Official Method of Analysis. AOAC International approval allows this method to be used as a regulatory test in shellfish commerce worldwide.

These scientists spent 10 years on method development, validation, and international collaborative testing. This method offers a high throughput alternative to live animal testing or lengthy instrumental methods currently acceptable for regulatory testing.

Paralytic shellfish poisoning is potentially fatal and results from eating shellfish that have accumulated toxins produced by toxic algae. This poisoning is a global human health threat and negatively impacts U.S. fishing industries in New England, Washington and Alaska.

AOAC International is recognized as the gold standard for analytical methods for food, dietary, and agricultural materials used by governments and industries worldwide.

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