NRL Missions

LABERCA is the National Reference Laboratory at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food for many classes of substances :

  • Growth promoters, eg steroids, beta-agonists, thyrostats, stilbenes, resorcylic acid lactones
  • Dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs
  • "Non dioxin-like" PCBs
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

As such, its mission is to :

  • develop sensitive and robust methods of food analysis,
  • train French application laboratories,
  • assess their performance via inter-laboratory tests, 
  • lead the laboratory network through annual information meetings,
  • provide expertise in the event of a problem.


LABERCA is also part of the European networks of reference laboratories, led by the National Food Institute in Copenhagen for PAHs, the Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR) in Wageningen for growth promoters, the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) for beta-agonists and CVUA in Freiburg for dioxins, PCBdl and PCBndl.

Other mandates

LABERCA also acts as a referent to the DGAl for different families of chemical contaminants including melamine and cysteine in food intended for humans, substances considered to be emerging which include new brominated flame retardants, organophosphorus flame retardants, chloroparaffins or even perfluoroalkylated compounds.