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Protocol for testing on aflatoxin B1 in maize updated

In August 2013 the second version of a specific protocol for testing on aflatoxin B1 in maize and maize products, originating from South East Europe, was published by GMP+. This is has now been updated.

Based on experiences in practice and as a result of further harmonisation discussions with other scheme owners, a third version of this protocol has been prepared which has recently been approved by the International Expert Committee.

The renewed protocol is published in chapter 2.3 of GMP+ BA4 Minimum Requirements for Sampling and Analysis, and replaces the previous protocol. It must be implemented by the 1st of November 2013.

Changes
This protocol differs slightly from the previous version. The changes are meant to give clarification and to correct a few inconsistencies and mistakes.
The changes are marked in the protocol and are related to the next items:
•It is clarified that maize and by-products of maize from certain origin, which are delivered in the GMP+ chain are covered under the scope of this proto-col.
•The list of countries (based on RASFF alerts) has been updated by adding the country of Slovakia.
•Brazil has been added as country (next to Croatia) about which we have also received alerts about maize. These countries are mentioned in the protocol, because the precautionary principle is applicable. Also in case of doubt the precautionary principle prevails.
•Sampling at the port of loading has become allowed in case of direct transport from the country of origin by means of inland waterway vessel or train. The specific conditions that apply to this situation are mentioned in 4.1 in this protocol.

Follow-up
Discussions about further harmonization between different schemes are still going on. The main topic identified is related to the implementation of Reg. (EC) no. 691/2013 about methods of sampling and analysis. Reg. (EC) no. 691/2013 will amend Reg. (EC) no. 152/2009 and will come into force as from January 1st 2014. This has consequences for the sampling and analysis requirements in this protocol. Later this year, GMP+ International will publish a fourth version of the protocol, which will be in accordance with Reg. (EC) no. 691/2013 with regard to sampling and analysis.

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