Summary of Awards to Date

Public and private roles in food import safety: Implementing a risk-based system.

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Date

Sep. 1, 2008 - Aug. 31, 2009

Award Number

FLAW-2008-01664

Funding Agency

USDA - CSREES

Amount Awarded

$50,000.00

Investigator

Michael Batz, Ph.D.
University of Florida

Co-Investigator(s)

Morris, J.

Summary

Recent incidents associated with imported food and consumer products have resulted in public health and customer confidence concerns and to agreement that the import safety system of the United States needs to evolve. Three recent major reports recommend moving to a risk-based approach characterized by increased coordination between government and industry, but fall short on the necessary details. In practical terms, the target is a differentiated system in which government agencies define an overall system of safety assurance and individual firms take steps to ensure and verify the low-risk status of their imported foods in exchange for expedited ease-of-entry. There are many unanswered questions, however, and a clear need for education and dialogue. This two-day symposium coordinated by the Food Safety Research Consortium will bring together experts and stakeholders from the public, private, academic, and advocacy communities to discuss the opportunities and challenges of a risk-based food import safety system built upon increased public-private partnerships, and to make concrete, actionable recommendations for implementing such a system. Utilizing presentations, panel discussions, and breakout groups, the symposia will detail current best practices for global supply chain management for safety, explore policy options for shared public and private responsibilities, examine the tools and mechanisms that can be utilized in such a system, and identify the criteria that can be used to evaluate risk. We will synthesize findings into guidance documents for industry and government, will publish and broadly disseminate a conference summary, and will pursue follow-up meetings with key audiences. Utilizing presentations, panel discussions, question and answer periods, and breakout groups, the symposia will present current best practices for global supply chain management for safety, explore policy options for shared public and private responsibilities, examine the tools and mechanisms that can be utilized in such a system, and identify the criteria that can be used to evaluate risk. We will synthesize findings into guidance documents for industry and government, will publish and broadly disseminate a conference summary, and will pursue follow-up meetings with key audiences.