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DuPont and USDA ARS to Collaborate on New E. coli Test in Beef
Date:2/22/2008

Company's BAX(R) System Part of R&D Agreement

WILMINGTON, Del., Feb. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- DuPont (NYSE: DD) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are teaming up to find new ways to detect an E. coli strain in beef that, even in low concentrations, can cause severe illness.

Through a cooperative research and development agreement, the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) at Clay Center, Neb., and DuPont Qualicon will develop a new test for E. coli 0157:H7, a pathogen that led to more than 30 million pounds of ground beef being recalled in 2007.

"Our mission is to develop scientific information and new technology to solve high priority problems for the U.S. beef, sheep and swine industries," Mohammad Koohmaraie, USMARC director, said. "In the case of E. coli O157:H7 detection, we're looking at collaborative ways to quickly develop a new test."

"We are committed to providing the meat industry with testing applications that use the best science available. This agreement allows us to work with experts from the USDA ARS toward our common goal of an E. coli O157:H7 test that is even faster, more accurate and more efficient," Kevin Huttman, president -- DuPont Qualicon, said.

E. coli O157:H7 is a food borne pathogen usually associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef. Even in low concentrations, it can cause severe illness, sometimes leading to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and kidney failure in at-risk populations. After several years of declining incidence, 2007 saw a resurgence with more than 30 million pounds of ground beef recalled due to possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination.

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