These are the times of one standard

How important is it for a laboratory to go for accreditation?
Accreditation is extremely essential as it is a question of standardisation. Standards for labs were set as late as December 1999. Before, there were only guidelines. The present iso 17025 addresses technical competency; training requirements; equipment maintenance; calibration traceability and uncertainty in measurement. This is a global standard for laboratory performance.

Politicians like to claim there's no money for state-of-the-art laboratories because the poor must be fed, first
It is a question of two paradigms. On the one hand, we are addressing the export market. On the other, we are not able to address local requirements. The local economy is unable to afford the quality cost. The day our per capita income goes up, we will also be able to afford quality in each and every sector. Today, whatever expertise we have in select pockets serves the exports market. But things have to change in future. Globalisation is happening. These are the times of one standard, one test report: global acceptance.

Laboratories test food products, but industrialised countries reject exports found laced with contaminants. Is there a way to ensure labs test products properly, and exports not suffer?
Thanks to the accreditation system, testing activities are being standardised in the country. But there are problems with sampling. There is an iso standard for sampling but how many follow it?

What is the general sampling procedure? Who collects the sample