Published on: 16-07-2016

Dear TIAFT Members:

I greatly hope you all enjoy your summer if you’re in the northern hemisphere and winter if you’re in the southern hemisphere.

As for the weather here in Korea, the rainy season has just begun and the rain is pouring down hard every day.

Last month, I attended the 100th meeting of the Japanese Society of Legal Medicine and met many TIAFT members including Prof. Ishii, an RR of Japan in Tokyo, Japan. In the toxicology session there were many interesting subjects including NPS related papers in the oral and poster sessions. All of the papers were very well received by participants. In fact, the subjects led to hot and productive discussions after each presentation. It was a fruitful meeting and I enjoyed it very much.

During the last week of June, I attended the meeting of the expert consultation on Forensic Toxicology and drug control by UNODC. Three board members including Robert Kranstrand, Dimitri Gemoustaous, and I were invited to the meeting and we realized that it will be a great opportunity for TIAFT to collaborate with UNODC. Therefore, I would like to share the report of this meeting as summarized by Dimitri.

The Experts Consultation on Forensic Toxicology and Drug Control had been organized by the UNODC to strengthen cooperation with the scientific community, including academia, with a view to promoting scientific research in drug demand and supply reduction policies in order to find effective solutions to various aspects of the world drug problem. This is the first time UNODC has formally engaged TIAFT to be part of a solution to the NPS problem.

The two-day meeting held at the United Nations in Vienna (June 28-29, 2016) was a forum where many internationally recognized scientists from around the world in the field of toxicology and other relevant forensic fields, participants of the UNODC International Collaborative Exercises (ICE) programme, international organizations and stakeholders, such as EMCDDA, WHO, INCB and UNODC, came together to discuss practical ways of collecting and sharing toxicology and health-related data including through, but not limited to, the UNODC ICE and Early Warning Advisory (EWA) on NPS.

TIAFT was well represented by the president (HC) and two boards, Robert Kronstrand, Dimitri Gerostamoulous and other notable TIAFT people such as Simon Elliott, Barry Logan, Sotiris Athanaselis, Teemu Gunnar and Ruri Hanajiri.  The first day comprised of an overview of the NPS problem in different jurisdictions from around the world and the second day we developed a form/system where TIAFT members could import information such that a better database of real time data could be developed with harms associated with NPS. This database will be piloted in the next month such that the working group ensures its usefulness and applicability for TIAFT members and the UNODC.  

Organizer Justice Tettey (UNODC) was very pleased with the outcomes of this meeting and TIAFT duly invited him to Brisbane at our TIAFT meeting to talk to our members about this exciting collaboration between UNODC and TIAFT.

 As Dimitri summarized, this will be a very meaningful TIAFT-UNODC project. I am delighted to have this initiative for TIAFT members. It will give an opportunity for our members to share information of NPS related harms through the database of UNODC. UNODC already has a very nice Database of NPS (for seized materials) in its ICE portal.

I will explain this project again at the RR meeting and business meeting when we meet in Brisbane. I am very happy to inform you that Dr. Justice Tettey, a Chief of Laboratory and Scientific Section, UNODC is coming to Brisbane and will give a talk regarding this project and be at the business meeting for further discussion.

Now it is a time for us to pack and get ready for our trip to Brisbane. Olaf Drummer and Dimitri Gerostamoulous are working very hard to have the best TIAFT meeting ever. As I mentioned to you in my last message, there are 350 abstracts including 116 oral presentations and the number of registrations is almost 400. It sounds like we are going to have another wonderful meeting. A half-day excursion on Wednesday and farewell banquet on Thursday will be a great opportunity to be with old and new friends. Just remember that Koala bears are waiting for you in Brisbane.

Have a safe trip to Brisbane, I am looking forward to seeing you there.


Dr. Heesun Chung,
President, TIAFT