MSU to Open Independent Food Safety Center in the Fall

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Michigan State University and the Grocery Manufacturers Association have joined forces to create an independent center that will provide unbiased information on the safe use of chemical ingredients in foods, beverages, cosmetics, and household consumer products.

The Center for Research in Ingredient Safety will be located on MSU’s campus in East Lansing in the fall. The facility will be modeled after existing centers at other academic institutions, which focus on allergen and microbiological safety. An advisory board that consists of academic, industry, nongovernmental organizations, and regulatory representatives will govern the center.

In addition, the facility will establish a graduate training program that prepares students for a career in assessing the safety and toxicology in food and other products.

“Michigan State University has what may be the largest and most diverse cohort of faculty in the nation working directly on food and consumer product safety issues, and the university has great strength in the discipline of toxicology,” says Fred Poston, dean of MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

“Ensuring the safety of our products — and maintaining the confidence of consumers — is the single most important goal of our industry,” said Leon Bruner, the association’s chief science officer.

The center will work to develop and validate testing methods as well as conduct basic and applied research on the safety and toxicology of ingredients in food, packaging, cosmetics, and household care products. It is being funded with contributions provided by organizations and individual supporters.

“Food ingredient safety is appropriately a high priority for manufacturers, policymakers and consumers,” says Andrew Maynard, director of the center and NSF International Chair of Environmental Health Science in the U-M School of Public Health. “While understanding and assessing food ingredient safety is key, effective communication and engagement are vital in order to facilitate evidence-informed dialogue and decision making.”

For more information, visit riskscience.umich.edu.

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