Japan approves more labs for food export tests: FDA

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Mar 05, 2013 - Page 4

Five food-testing laboratories accredited by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been chosen by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to be the official testers for food exported to Japan, the FDA said yesterday.

The agency said the designation of the laboratories, which it recommended to the Japanese ministry, as official testers was a step forward in speeding up the food export process and lowering costs for local exporters.

The five private labs can now carry out the random testing of food exports required by the Food Safety Commission of Japan, the FDA said. The five join eight other laboratories sanctioned by Japan to test its food imports, the ministry’s Web site shows.

The agency said that last year, it evaluated all the accredited laboratories in the nation that applied to be recommended by the government to Japan for food testing.

The facilities were evaluated using criteria such as how many items they had tested, the variety of testing methods they used and aptitude tests.

The FDA aims to conduct more evaluations in the future to recommend additional food-testing facilities to the Japanese government.

It encouraged laboratories that wanted to be listed as official export testers to increase the number of items they tested and expand the range of methods they used.

The results of tests on Taiwanese food exports (excluding tests on micro-organisms and mycotoxins) conducted by laboratories approved by the Japanese ministry will be stamped as valid by Japanese customs and those products will be able to bypass the customary additional testing on arrival in Japan, the agency said.