National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) have been established for the monitoring of food, feed, pathogens in humans and animals, genetically modified organisms and certain classes of substances such as residues in live animals and animal products as well as pesticide residues in food and feed.
By setting up National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) in the EU Member States, it has been possible to establish the basis for Europe-wide, harmonised analysis standards in the areas of official control of food and feed, and in the diagnosis of diseases in the field of animal health.
The Legal basis of the NRLs is the EU Regulation (EC) No. 882/2004, according to which each Member State is obliged to appoint one or several NRLs for specific analyses and to inform the European Commission thereof. The respective NRL must be accredited as a testing laboratory for the analysis concerned.