The Agriculture and Food Laboratory not only has an important role in ensuring the quality of agricultural and food products but also in protecting public health by preventing infectious and non-communicable diseases in both humans and crops, according to Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon.

Sakhon said the laboratory has the final say on the verification of food products based on the quality of manufacturing processes or the levels of chemical residue, bacteria, parasites, viruses and other toxins in products.

“The laboratory plays an important role in maintaining the quality of agricultural and food safety and protecting public health ... The laboratory’s results are a clear indicator for determining whether producers have used chemicals or not,” he said.

The minister added that to strengthen officials’ capacity and improve the efficiency of the laboratory to meet national and international standards, the Department of Agro-Industry has cooperated with the China National Research Institute of Food and Fermentation to send experts to study modern technology and development in the food industry.

“After installing the laboratory with experimental equipment and having the management structure to organise the administrative and technical work, especially with the support of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), from May 2017, the facility began preliminary analysis using GPO kit TM1 and TM2 to test for pesticide residue on vegetables, fruit and grain,” he said.

In addition, KOICA has provided equipment and chemicals for the analysis of agricultural waste and for the presence of harmful microorganisms such as salmonella and E coli in fresh meat, vegetables and fish.