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CPS Grants First Research Awards in Record Time

November 14, 2008
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Davis, CA - November 14, 2008 - The Center for Produce Safety at UC Davis announced today the recipients of the first research awards aimed at providing the produce industry with the best science available to enhance food safety systems from field to fork. Over $500,000 in research funds were awarded to the following recipients who will engage in critical research projects over the next year.

A Sensitive and Specific Molecular Testing Method for Live Salmonella in Produce. Beilei Ge, Louisiana State University.

Enhancing the effectiveness of human pathogen testing systems for the advancement of practical produce safety research and commercial management.  Carol D'lima, University of California, Davis.

Environmental effects on the growth or survival of stress-adapted Escherichia coli 015:H7 and Salmonella compost. Xiuping Jiang, Clemson University.

Examination of the survival and internalization of E.coli on spinach under field production environments. Steven T. Koike, University of California Cooperative Extension.

Dr. Bob Whitaker, Chief Science Officer for the Produce Marketing Association, and Chairman of the CPS Technical Committee that granted the awards noted, "These awards represent a critical first step in achieving CPS's mission of funding new scientific studies to provide the industry with the information it needs to continually enhance food safety measures."

Tim York, Chairman, CPS Advisory Board added, "I am immensely proud of the speed in which the dedicated industry, government, and academic volunteers that make up the Technical Committee were able to develop and award the research funds. We committed to setting a new standard in creating timely research to produce data that could be quickly translated into production practices - and the Technical Committee has helped us deliver on that commitment."

Data from the research is expected by December 31, 2009. The Center for Produce Safety Technical Committee will work with the principal investigators to translate the project findings into useful and useable information for the industry.

All scientists that submitted proposals will receive a summary of comments about their proposal from the CPS Technical Committee. The CPS will issue three requests for additional proposals within the next 30 days, including a joint proposal with the United States-Israel Agricultural Research and Development Fund, and the California Leafy Greens Research Program.

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