Training participants perform laboratory exercises on RBPR at the Pesticide Research Laboratory of ARI, COA in Taichung, Taiwan ROC.
TAICHUNG, TAIWAN ROC - To share the benefits of the Rapid Bioassay of Pesticide Residues (RBPR) technology with countries in the Asian and Pacific (ASPAC) region, FFTC in cooperation with the Agricultural Research Institute (ARI), Council of Agriculture (COA) of Taiwan ROC spearheaded the second-year implementation of the training course on RBPR on Fruits and Vegetables for Market Inspection and Farm Education. The activity was held on May 31 to June 5, 2010 in ARI, Taichung, Taiwan ROC, and was sponsored by COA.
The training course was attended by 16 training participants from eight countries (India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan ROC and Vietnam) who are experts on or responsible for food safety policy in their respective country, such as government researchers and inspection officers, laboratory technicians, and extension workers. The training course consisted of intensive lectures, discussions, laboratory exercises, hands-on experiences and field visits to observe the practical application of RBPR in fruit and vegetable production and marketing.
Among the topics covered during the training course were: prospects of rapid monitoring and control of pesticide residues in the ASPAC region and the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) in the US; toxicological principles, advantages and limitations of RBPR; qualitative and quantitative RBPR analysis of insecticide residues by the AChE test; fungicide toxicity testing using the Bt test; management and implementation of RBPR; and a briefing on agricultural safety research in Taiwan ROC.
RBPR was developed in Taiwan in 1985 as a low-cost alternative to chemical analysis to achieve quick test results for pesticide residues in order to protect local consumers from contaminated fruits and vegetables. It is suitable for most developing countries in the ASPAC region where domestic production and marketing by small-scale farmers is common. RBPR is widely adopted by more than 200 stations in Taiwan ROC involving farmer associations, various food supply systems, and major supermarket chains. While bioassay is not as precise as chemical testing, it is low cost and gives immediate results, and is practical for use in screening large samples so that contaminated produce can be withdrawn from the farm gate or local market before they reach the consumers.