TIAFT was founded in London on April 21, 1963. The founding meeting elected Dr. E.C.G. Clarke (UK) as President, Dr. Alan S. Curry (UK) as Secretary, Dr. Ian Holden (UK) as Treasurer and Dr. Fred Rieders (USA) as Newsletter Editor. The first newsletter was edited in November 1963 by Dr. Rieders, and from the very beginning it bore the name "Bulletin of the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists". It was a 3-page A4 size blue spirit duplicated leaflet which contained four case notes. The analytical methods relied heavily on TLC, spectrophotometry and spot tests. The first note was by L.W. Bradford (USA) giving advice on how to calibrate UV spectro-photometers with mercury vapour.
Nowadays, TIAFT comprises about 1500 members from all regions of the world who are actively engaged in analytical toxicology or allied areas. All members agree to conduct themselves in a professional manner, in accordance with the ethical principles. The organisation has approximately 50 Regional Representatives who represent TIAFT in their respective areas of the world. They process requests for TIAFT membership, are responsible for liaison with related scientific societies in their areas and serve their local TIAFT members as their needs arise.
The aims of this association are to promote cooperation and coordination of efforts among members and to encourage research in forensic toxicology.
TIAFT members come from departments of legal medicine, pharmacology, pharmacy and toxicology, hospitals, medical examiners and coroners' laboratories, the police force, horseracing and sports doping laboratories. The association organises annual meetings and regional meetings. The Bulletin is published 3 times a year and is now a colour booklet of 50+ pages. The Young Scientists Committee encourages international collaboration among TIAFT young scientists, organises a half day meeting during each annual congress and awards three annual prizes at each meeting for best presentation, best poster and best publication by a young scientist.
In addition, TIAFT annually awards the Alan Curry Award to members who have a long history of distinguished contributions to the field of forensic toxicology and to the TIAFT organisation and the TIAFT Achievement Award to recognise TIAFT members who are younger than 46 years for outstanding achievements in forensic toxicology through their scientific activities and outputs.