A cooperation agreement was signed last week between the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and AOAC INTERNATIONAL. The new partnership allows for the joint development and approval of common standards.
Rob Steele, Secretary General of ISO, said: "Such harmonization will significantly increase the global relevance and impact of our respective organizations through international promotion and adoption of our harmonized methods."
AOAC Executive Director James Bradford said: “ISO is a very important partner and we are extremely pleased to enter into this high-level agreement. The new agreement underscores that ISO and AOAC share an effective and efficient approach in development of international standards.”
Erik Konings, AOAC Board Member and one of the SPIFAN stakeholders added: “The ISO/AOAC agreement broadens global acceptance of standards which will facilitate international trading of infant formula and adult nutritionals for the benefit of all stakeholders including consumers.”
Both AOAC and ISO are already internationally recognized and respected, and the collaboration will reinforce the global reputation of both organizations. Under the new agreement, ISO and AOAC can participate in each other’s work to jointly develop and approve standards. Initial priorities will focus on cooperation in the areas of milk and milk products and infant formula and adult nutritionals. Hence, this will also involve collaboration with the International Dairy Federation (IDF) through the existing agreement between ISO and IDF relating to their joint programme of work on methods of analysis and sampling for milk and milk products.
IDF President Richard Doyle said: “IDF has a strategic objective to foster mutually beneficial relationship with other organizations and has actively supported the efforts of ISO and AOAC to establish a collaboration. IDF is looking forward to collaborating with AOAC and ISO in the development of methods of analysis for infant formula.”
The agreement covers the work of the AOAC Stakeholder Panel on Infant Formula and Adult Nutritionals (SPIFAN) which is addressing international regulatory needs related to nutrient labeling. The infant formula industry came to AOAC to help solve issues with science-based solutions through consensus of international experts.
“AOAC works in close collaboration with stakeholders, primarily from industry, to drive priorities and identify standards-based solutions to global issues, thereby helping to facilitate commerce, among other objectives,” said Bradford. “There is much value in the cooperation agreement with ISO, but perhaps the greatest value will be to our industry partners who need standards. There are several areas in the ISO process where we can fit.”
The International Dairy Federation is the leading source of scientific and technical expertise for all stakeholders of the dairy chain. IDF is committed to furthering current knowledge and science on a wide range of issues by triggering state-of-the-art projects across the dairy chain. Areas of work include sustainable development, nutrition, methods of analysis, farm management, hygiene and safety, and many more. For more information, fil-idf.org.
About AOAC INTERNATIONAL
AOAC INTERNATIONAL is a global scientific association dedicated to standards development, the improvement of quality assurance procedures in laboratories, and the professional development of analytical scientists around the world. AOAC INTERNATIONAL members include leading decision-makers from government, academia, and industry working in the areas of foods and beverages, infant formula, dietary supplements, feeds, fertilizers, soil and water, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. For more information, aoac.org.
The International Organization for Standardization is a nongovernmental organization with a membership comprising the national standards bodies of more than 164 countries. ISO is the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards, with a current portfolio of more than 19,100. For more information, iso.org.