Representative from the Joint FAO/IAEA Program in Food and Agriculture Visits Charm Sciences

From September 25th through 28th, Charm Sciences was visited by Dr. James Sasanya of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculturein Vienna, Austria. The Charm and FAO/IAEA partnership has brought Charm’s diagnostic technologies to new parts of the world, and Dr. Sasanya’s visit ensured the partnership will continue to propel change in food safety testing, monitoring and research by continuing established programs, and developing new ones.

Dr. Sasanya has been part of the Joint FAO/IAEA Program since 2008, and currently holds the role of Food Safety Specialist in the Food and Environmental Protection Section. He has practical and academic experience in an extensive variety of fields. His academic background alone includes degrees and programs in Food Safety, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Veterinary Medicine, Analytical Chemistry and International Relations.

The Joint program between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has the mission to “support and promote the safe and appropriate use of nuclear and related technologies by the FAO/IAEA Member States in food and agriculture and so contribute to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world, especially to global food security and sustainable agricultural development.”

The IAEA has worked with Charm to put the Charm II system in government and university laboratories in countries around the world. The Charm II test can detect a wide range of residues in meat tissues, dairy, animal urine, farmed fish, farmed shrimp, water, eggs, feed and honey. With the Charm II’s versatility, these laboratories can collect valuable information on the local food supply, which is necessary for improving regulations and practices. 

During the visit, potential ongoing and future technical cooperation and coordinated research projects and partnerships for Charm were also discussed. Dr. Sasanya had many ideas for Charm, based on his extensive knowledge of organizations working to improve global health and protect the global food supply. Possibilities that were discussed included projects with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), and the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), among others.