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Development of a screening system capable of detecting a broad range of toxic and illegal drugs in r

Project Reference: 01-RESR-009

Status: Completed

Commencement Date: December, 2001

Project Duration: 36 months


Clenbuterol (Angel Dust) has been one of the most widely abused drugs in European farming.  The trouble is that there is a wide array of illegal Clenbuterol-like drugs available to farmers that could be undetectable by current analytical techniques. This is a major cause for concern due to the potential human health effects of Clenbuterol exposure via contaminated meat products. 

The primary objective of this research was to utilise recent advances in drug residue detection technology to develop a biosensor screening system capable of detecting a wide range of illegal drugs in red meat. The tests developed were used to determine the level of abuse occurring on the island of Ireland. The outcomes of the research were disseminated to all relevant stakeholders with a view to implementing the methodology for the purposes of deterring unscrupulous primary producers from using illegal growth promoters.

Principal Contractor(s):

Prof Richard O'Kennedy, Dublin City University


Prof Chris Elliott, Queen’s University Belfast



Laboratory capacity building

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