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AOAC Extends Comment Period for Its Proposed Mycotoxin and E.coli Testing Methods

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Aug 13, 2020   
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Any lab analyst with a view on how mycotoxins and E.coli bacteria should be screened for in cannabis samples has been invited to comment on AOAC International’s own drafted methods.

Following the end of the comment period on August 14, the independent lab standards organization will review the comments and the drafted methods may be revised if necessary.

Mycotoxins, E.coli, and method eligibility

Back in early July, AOAC released draft standard method performance requirements (SMPRs) for the detection of both key mycotoxins and Shiga toxin-producing E.coli bacteria in cannabis samples.

Both of these contaminant types can pose a serious threat to human health if ingested. Exposure to the key mycotoxins, which include aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2, has been linked to kidney damage and related cancers, and Shiga toxin-producing E.coli bacteria can cause hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome in humans, which can both be fatal.

As such, the accurate detection of these contaminants in legal cannabis samples is crucial for consumer safety.

Many independent commercial cannabis labs already have their own methods and standards for the testing of these pollutants. But, as part of its own Cannabis Analytical Science Program (CASP), AOAC aims to better standardize these techniques with the help of expert input.

Comments on the drafted SMPRs can be made via this online form.

“The working groups have dedicated many hours and expertise to draft requirements (e.g., accuracy, precision, LOD, LOQ, etc) for specified analytes and matrices,” Susan Audino, scientific advisor to AOAC’s CASP, wrote on LinkedIn.

“To accommodate time factors, there will be a 1pm EST call in on Friday August 14 to review/comment on the draft requirements. Please join us!”


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