A NOAA method to test for paralytic shellfish toxins will be demonstrated to scientists, regulators, policymakers, and industry representatives in Sydney, Australia from March 18-22. The technique, which was recently accepted as an Official Method of Analysis by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists, is a candidate for replacing the current approach for regulatory testing of shellfish.
This methodology simplifies the current practice that requires injecting shellfish fluids into mice and timing how long it takes for them to die. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working with NOAA to support this effort, undertaken by researchers from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.
The demonstration will take place at the International Conference on Molluscan Shellfish Sanitation, a world venue for shellfish safety and commerce funded by the International Atomic Energy Agency.Transferring this technology will strengthen the ability of coastal managers around the world to protect public health while realizing the economic benefits of expanding shellfish harvests.