The US Food and Drug Administration has awarded 83 grants totalling $17.5 million to state and local regulatory agencies to boost food and feed safety.
The grants are used for four major areas: response, intervention, innovation and prevention. "The grants are another step in the FDA's continuing efforts to build an integrated food safety system between federal, state, and local partners", said Michael Chappell, the FDA's acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs.
The grants and their recipients include:
Response: Rapid Response Teams
The Food Protection Rapid Response Team (RRT) and Program Infrastructure Improvement Prototype Project cooperative agreements will develop, implement, exercise, and integrate an all-hazards food and foodborne illness response capability to more rapidly react to potential threats to our food supply.
Intervention: Food Safety and Security Monitoring (FERN)
The grants for Food Safety and Security Monitoring provide funding to Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) laboratories. FERN laboratories provide additional capacity for analyzing food samples in the event of food-borne disease outbreaks or other large-scale food emergency events.
Selected laboratories received up to $350,000 in grant funds. The grants are for microbiological, chemical, or radiological analysis capacity.
Innovation: Innovative Food Defence
The Innovative Food Defence Projects grants are awarded to generate products that complement, develop, or improve State and local food defence programs. These products could then be applied to food defence programs nationwide.
Prevention: Food Protection Task Force Program
The Food Protection Task Force Conference program supports meetings that foster communication, cooperation, and collaboration among state, local, and tribal food protection, public health, agriculture, and regulatory agencies.