AHPA Chief Science Officer Holly Johnson, Ph.D., represented member interests at the 9th Annual AOAC INTERNATIONAL Midyear Meeting and Analytical Solutions Forum held March 11-14 outside Washington, DC.
The meeting and forum serve as a science-based, open meeting where global stakeholders from government, industry and academia convene to identify emerging issues and articulate standard method performance requirements (SMPRs). This year's event featured a new Cannabis Analytical Science Program (CASP), an Analytical Solutions Forum, Dietary Supplement Stakeholder Panel, Quantitative Microbiology Method Validation Acceptance Criteria Working Group, and a new Food Authenticity/Fraud Program.
The new Cannabis Analytical Science Program was formed to support the analytical science needs of the cannabis and hemp testing community. Initially, CASP is focusing on identifying and prioritizing method needs, but the ultimate goal is for the program is to support all aspects of analytical science, including: testing and reference materials; education and training; and guidance for industry. Attendees at the inaugural meeting worked to prioritize analytes and matrices for further Standard Method Performance Requirements (SMPR) and method development for 2019. Three working groups were formed: Microbiology, Chemical Contaminants, and one that Dr. Johnson will chair focused on Cannabinoids in hemp materials, foods, and beverages.
The event also featured the new Analytical Solutions Forum, the new evolution of AOAC’s stakeholder panel model. The goal of the forum is to provide a multi-faceted approach to serving and advancing the needs of the analytical, food, supplements, feed and agricultural safety communities.
The Dietary Supplements Stakeholder Panel was held on March 13 to provide a town hall discussion on future challenges. In September 2018, AOAC INTERNATIONAL and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office Dietary Supplements (ODS) concluded a five-year collaboration to develop standard method performance requirements and analytical methods for dietary supplements. Participants on this panel discussed existing and emerging challenges, and facilitated an open discussion to set a path forward for AOAC and its stakeholder communities.
AOAC's new Food Authenticity/Fraud Program was also launched to support the analytical needs of stakeholders to address intentional and economically motivated food adulteration. The program is composed of three working groups of scientific experts. Two groups will develop Standard Method Performance Requirements (SMPRs) for Targeted Testing (TT) and Nontargeted Testing (NTT). The third will be tasked to develop rapid response guidance for method development in the event of an emergency.