As a National Reference Laboratory for the detection of residues (Commission Decision 98/536/EC,Royal Decree 1749/1998,of 31 July - Official Spanish State Gazette nº188 of 7 August,amended by Commission Decision 2006/130/EC),the CNA conducts residue studies on antibiotics,other veterinary medicinal products and prohibited substances.In this legislation,the National Food Centre is appointed as a National Reference Laboratory for residue detection in groups:A-1,A-3,A-4,A-5,A-6,B-1,B-2f,B-3c,B-3d and B-3e,which are identified as follows:
- A-1 Stilbenes,stilbene derivatives,and their salts and esters
- A-3 Steroids
- A-4 Resorcylic acid lactones (including zeranol)
- A-5 Beta-agonists
- A-6 Cloramphenicol and nitrofurans
- B-1 Antibacterial substances,including sulphonomides,quinolones
- B-2f Corticosteroids
- B-3c Chemical elements (only aquaculture products)
- B-3d Micotoxins
- B-3e Colours
Reference activities involve the development of new methodologies for the control of fraudulent substances in the illegal fattening of livestock (beta-agonists, corticosteroids,antibiotics,etc.), within the National Residue Monitoring Plan (PNIR). Such controls are conducted by implementing the latest analytical technologies for increasing efficiency and safety. The improved instruments are used in the most established of techniques, such as gas and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry or in the most sensitive and specific detectors, respectively.
In addition, functions as a National Reference Laboratory, according to the Royal Decree 1749/1998, include:
For the different product families included within each group of substances, these functions include the development of new methods adapted to EU legislation regarding limits, operating characteristics, etc.(Decision 2002/657/EC); scientific and technical support to the different laboratories in the Autonomous Communities that are involved in the National Residue Monitoring Plan (PNIR); confirmation analyses; organisation of proficiency tests for PNIR laboratories in the Autonomous Communities; participation in proficiency tests organised by Community Reference Laboratories (CRL); organisation of national conferences; issuance of NRL notifications to PNIR Laboratories; training courses; accreditation methods; sample analysis in cases which cannot be analysed by the Autonomous Communities at any given moment; attendance at workshops organised by CRLs; and attendance at the relevant national and international meetings.In addition,research projects are carried out and analytical conclusions are given to the Judiciary and the Border Health Control Authority.