Navigation Links
New initiative aims at safer food imports -- at the source, not our border
Date:5/21/2010

COLLEGE PARK, Md. A new public-private initiative will advance the U.S. strategy of defending against contaminated food imports at the source, rather than the border.

The University of Maryland and the Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT) will build and operate the first U.S.-based laboratory for training foreign food producers an important step to increase the foreign scientific capacity needed to uncover contamination before commodities ship. At the new facility, they'll be taught U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved microbiological and chemical analytical procedures.

"Inspection at the border is not an option," says Jianghong Meng, who directs the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN), the University of Maryland-FDA center that will operate the lab and conduct the training. http://agnr.umd.edu/directory/Bio.cfm?ID=jmeng

"We import so much food from other countries that the FDA can only inspect about one percent of it," Meng explains. "The answer is to control contamination at the source."

The new facility the International Food Safety Training Laboratory (IFSTL) will teach an estimated 200 foreign food and government workers per year. It will be based in College Park at the University of Maryland, and is expected to open in July 2011.

With an investment valued at more than $4 million, the Waters Corporation will build and equip the facility and assist in designing the program. Waters is a major manufacturer of laboratory equipment used to detect and measure the presence of chemical contaminants in food. Its investment is an essential driving force in the project. http://www.waters.com/

JIFSAN will be responsible for curriculum and training at IFSTL, and operate the lab as a self-supporting facility. http://jifsan.umd.edu

GROWING LEVELS OF FOOD IMPORTS

Imports represent about 15 percent of the total U.S. food supply. But, Meng notes that the figure is much higher in the case of certain commodities. For example, over 80 percent of shrimp sold in the United States is imported. More than one-third of fresh produce is imported, mainly from Latin America.

As an example of the risks of food contamination, Meng points to a 2008 outbreak of salmonella that sickened more than 1,400 people, traced back to conditions at a Mexican pepper farm. Another is the 2008 scandal involving Chinese milk and infant formula, which had been adulterated with melamine. Several babies died and 300,000 people in China got sick.

NEED FOR HANDS-ON TRAINING

"This initiative stresses a hands-on approach to building scientific capacity," says Paul Mazzocchi, JIFSAN's associate director. "Trainees will be put through intensive programs practicing FDA-recommended protocols and operating actual lab equipment. It's a unique and cost-effective way to build foreign capacity quickly." http://www.life.umd.edu/grad/MLfsc/PMazzocchi%20CV.pdf

The demand for expertise especially the hands-on variety far outstrips current technical capacity in many countries, driven in part by U.S. importers and retailers seeking safety assurances. IFSTL is a response to this growing need for training, "the capstone of JIFSAN's international food safety training programs," as Mazzocchi puts it.

"The University of Maryland is very excited about this innovative partnership through the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition," says President C. D. Mote, Jr. "This collaboration is a superb example of how the public and private sectors can maximize their impact by combining their strengths. The new programs have excellent potential for improving food safety internationally."

"Waters Corporation is committed to bridging the gap between governments and industry to ensure the best science and most innovative technologies are used to make our food safe," says Waters Corporation Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Douglas A. Berthiaume. "We are proud to join with the University of Maryland to create this laboratory that will bolster the capabilities of both the FDA and our global partners as we work together to improve food safety."

IFSTL LOCATION

IFSTL will be located in the Patapsco Building in M-Square, the University of Maryland research park adjacent to the campus and next door to the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. http://msquare.umd.edu/

Together with another neighbor - the headquarters for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)- JIFSAN and the FDA facility represent a growing cluster of M-Square research dedicated to food safety.

"This new initiative further enhances Maryland's global leadership and helps to secure the safety of imported food products," says Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Christian Johansson.

"This project exemplifies the impact of our international technology transfer mission," says Brian Darmody, associate vice president for research and economic development at the University of Maryland. "Exporting lab-based food safety expertise to other parts of the world will help protect the health of U.S. citizens, as well as people in other countries. Moreover, bringing hundreds of trainees to Maryland helps support our regional economy."


'/>"/>

Contact: Neil Tickner
ntickner@umd.edu
301-405-4622
University of Maryland
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Dealtaker.com Shows Support for White House National Health and Fitness Initiatives
2. First Minnesota initiative on womens heart disease
3. iSirona Appoints Chief Quality and Regulatory Officer to Oversee Quality Initiatives
4. BCS Global and Iformata Sign Agreement to Collaborate on the PSVN Initiative to Deliver B2B Video Communications
5. Experts call for accelerated national sodium reduction initiatives
6. MUHC leads pan-Canadian initiative on respiratory disease
7. New UCSF Global Health Initiative Will Help Bridge Gap Between Knowledge, Action
8. New global health initiative will help bridge gap between knowledge, action
9. MedPage Today Launches New Related SitesTM Initiative with KevinMD.com as First Collaborator
10. Employers Sceptical of Government's Fit Notes Initiative
11. Autism Speaks Celebrates Autism Awareness Month With a Series of National Awareness and Fundraising Initiatives
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New initiative aims at safer food imports -- at the source, not our border
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his ... David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps ... in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June ... with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking ... common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The ... in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support its ... PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ... raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at ... the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions today announced ... and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first two dispensaries ... manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification solutions for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that ... PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for ... clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in the ... risk assessment and management. PCT is a ... in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost ... Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Pa. , June 23, 2016 The ... in an outpatient dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually 3 ... 6 hours per visit, including travel time, equipment preparation ... a patient, but especially grueling for patients who are ... of a skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers for some ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: