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WIFSS Promotes International Food Safety

Chris Brunner, July 31, 2014

Dr. Rob Atwill and others at signing of agreement in Yinchuan ChinaFaculty and top level administration from Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University in Yangling, Shaanxi Province, China, UC Davis, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, and USDA met at Yinchuan, China where they discussed a series of priority topics, one of which was mechanisms to promote safe food across the food continuum for China.

Rob Atwill, Director of the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security, reviewed the many international opportunities for collaboration in food safety between University of California, Davis and Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University. In particular, many opportunities exist for developing pre-harvest intervention programs that can reduce the risk of microbial contamination at the source of production, thereby improving food safety during processing and distribution. Harris Lewin, Vice Chancellor of Research, UC Davis, and Wu Pute, Professor and Vice President of Northwest Agriculture and Forestry signed the MOU to initiate the Sino-U.S. Joint Research Center for Food Safety.

Also present at the signing were Catherine Woteki, Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics at the USDA; and Vice Minister Zhang Laiwu of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology. This new center will foster joint research, technical guidance and develop governmental policy on global food safety in China, greater Southeast Asia and Africa, while also focusing on developing adoptable solutions to key main hazards across the food continuum.

WIFSS currently has five different programs underway in China addressing food and waterborne disease issues. Its working agreement with Nanjing Agricultural University is a good example of how WIFSS’s leadership is promoting food safety internationally and building strong partnerships worldwide. The comprehensive programs of the One Health Center in Nanjing will help build the workforce for China’s expanding food safety.