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Nov. 23 EU: EU unveils change of test method for marine biotoxins

Posted Date: 
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

From: Food Quality News

The European Union has confirmed that biological testing for the detection of marine biotoxins will be replaced by a more reliable chemical method from next summer.

The switch will see the mouse bioassay (MBA) ditched in favour of a chemical test to uncover the presence of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning marine biotoxins (DSP) in bivalve molluscs like mussels, cockles, oysters or scallops.

The EC raised concerns about the efficacy of the MBA last year. This method involves the injection of a shellfish tissue extract into the abdominal cavity of mice, with death of the animal signalling the positive detection of toxins. Of particular concern was the MBA’s ability to detect OA- toxin groups at current EU limits, which was labelled as “inadequate, leading to false negative results in official controls”... The new testing regime, due to be launched in July 2011, will boost the protection of consumer health, said the European Commission yesterday.

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