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AOAC/IFC Sign DOU to Identify Future Priorities;
Thought Leader Advisory Meetings to Be Held in China and India

AOAC signed on September 24, 2012, a document of understanding with the International Formula Council (IFC) to hold thought leader advisory meetings in China and India to establish consensus on priority nutrients and issues. These consensus-based priorities will drive the direction for future activities of the AOAC Stakeholder Panel on Infant Formula and Adult Nutritionals (SPIFAN).

"Regional meeting are of great value and a very effective approach for driving more engagement and support for the SPIFAN initiative,” said Dan Schmitz of Abbott Nutrition. “We hope to encourage collaboration with China, India, and other key regions so that we can set the best standards from a global perspective."

AOAC and IFC are currently identifying major stakeholders from the Indian (Bureau of Indian Standards, Food Safety Standards Authority, etc.) and Chinese (Ministry of Health, GB, etc.) governments to participate. Key regulatory officials and other relevant stakeholders will work toward consensus in identifying nutrient/method priorities, issues, and needs. It is anticipated that the thought leader advisory meetings will be held in late 2012/early 2013 in India and China (details to be finalized).

Pending future agreement, the goal is for SPIFAN to develop voluntary consensus standards for the new priorities identified. As part of AOAC’s standards development process, working groups will develop draft standard method performance requirements (SMPRs) as articulated by stakeholder consensus-based fitness-for-purpose statements.

AOAC will issue calls for experts and methods based on the draft SMPRs. The best candidate methods most likely meeting fitness-for-purpose and SMPRs will be recommended for further evaluation—and possible adoption as First Action--by an AOAC expert review panel (ERP).

Approved SMPRs and Official MethodsSM will be codified and published by AOAC.

Results of the thought leader advisory meetings (identification of issues, needs, concerns, and priority nutrients) will be reviewed by SPIFAN and its advisory panel for consideration at the AOAC Mid-Year Meeting in March 2013. If approved, and pending future agreement, the new priorities will drive future SPIFAN activities to work toward consensus on SMPRs. The goal is consensus-based Official MethodsSM for dispute resolution that is accepted worldwide.

"Ideally, it is hoped that standards and methods resulting from the SPIFAN project will be recognized worldwide and adopted by ISO, Codex, and other relevant organizations," said Darryl Sullivan of Covance Laboratories and chair of SPIFAN.

For more information on the AOAC SPIFAN initiative, visit http://stakeholder.aoac.org/SPIFAN or contact Anita Mishra, executive for scientific business development, at amishra@aoac.org



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