In the experimental (non-clinical) research arena, the phrase good laboratory practice or GLP specifically refers to a quality system of management controls for research laboratories and organizations to ensure the uniformity, consistency, reliability, reproducibility, quality, and integrity of chemical (including pharmaceuticals) non-clinical safety tests; from physic-chemical properties through acute to chronic toxicity tests.
GLP was first introduced in New Zealand and Denmark in 1972, and later in the US in 1978 in response to the Industrial BioTest Labs scandal. It was followed a few years later by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Principles of GLP in 1992; the OECD has since helped promulgate GLP to many countries.
GLP applies to non-clinical studies conducted for the assessment of the safety or efficacy of chemicals (including pharmaceuticals) to man, animals and the environment. GLP, a data quality system, should not be confused with standards for laboratory safety – appropriate gloves, glasses & clothing to handle lab materials safely. The principles of GLP aim to ensure and promote safety, consistency, high quality, and reliability of chemicals in the process of non-clinical and laboratory testing. But, GLP is not limited only to chemicals. It applies to medical devices, food additives, food packaging, colour additives and other non-pharmaceutical products or ingredients as well.