HOKLAS Accreditation Puts SGS Lab First For GMO Testing in Hong Kong

Top Quote HOKLAS has awarded accreditation to SGS's food testing lab in Hong Kong. This is the first existing commercial facility laboratory in the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China to get such recognition for its GMO testing services. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) November 30, 2016 - The Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (HOKLAS) has awarded accreditation to SGS's food testing. This is the first existing commercial facility laboratory in the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China to get such recognition for its Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) testing services.

    The food testing services undertaken by SGS in Hong Kong involve the use of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology to screen a wide variety of foods. These include tomato sauce, rice, seeds (such as soya seed), tofu, soya milk, and maize.

    Thanks to the accuracy of the technology, SGS is able to detect GMO levels as low as 0.1% weight/weight (w/w) - which is significantly below the European Union minimum figure of 0.9% (w/w).

    The Hong Kong Accreditation Service issues HOKLAS, which is based upon the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard and comprises technical and management system requirements. While HOKLAS is the most recent accreditation achieved by SGS in Hong Kong, it is by no means the first. The lab is already accredited for food and food container testing by Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkkS), and by Macau Productivity and Technology Transfer Centre (CPTTM) for food and drug testing.

    The HOKLAS accreditation for the SGS facility in Hong Kong adds yet another layer of capability to the lab. In turn, this helps to generate even deeper levels of trust among local manufacturers who are keen to trade in absolute confidence with countries specifying GMO-free products.

    Why GMO testing is so important
    Since Genetically Modified (GM) foods were introduced, there's been heated debate about safety - without common consensus ever being achieved. The practical outcome is that no globally-agreed approach to regulation and labeling exists, leaving individual markets to establish their own rules and guidelines.

    For food manufacturers wanting to sell beyond their own borders, this complexity makes it advisable to use independent experts to test products in the relevant markets. Such an approach ensures third-party verification on a global scale, while avoiding non-compliance issues and the associated financial and reputational risks.

    Established by SGS in 1959, the 4,300 sq. ft. food testing lab in Hong Kong is just one of the company's facilities capable of providing such a service. In addition to GMO screening, it also provides: food contaminant testing; norovirus identification; shelf-life studies; nutritional and vitamins testing; microbiological testing; food chemical analysis; and identification and quantification services. The lab's complementary services include auditing, certification and training, as well as technical services.

    Hong Kong food companies needing GMO testing services, or help with other food testing, should contact SGS:
    Tony Chan
    Head, Food Department
    SGS Hong Kong
    Email: tony.chan ( @ ) sgs dot com
    Tel: + 852 2765 3635

    About SGS
    SGS is the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 85,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,800 offices and laboratories around the world.

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