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UC Riverside's Brian Federici receives Secretary's Annual Honor Award from USDA

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- (www.ucr.edu) -- Brian Federici, professor of entomology and entomologist at UC Riverside, has been recognized with one of the 2003 Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary's Annual Honor Awards in the category 'Promoting health by providing access to safe, affordable, and nutritious food.' The award was presented to Federici on Friday, June 13th, 2003, in Washington, DC.

The Secretary's Annual Honor Awards, which are presented by the Secretary of Agriculture, are the most significant recognition the USDA can bestow to acknowledge outstanding contributions to agriculture and to the consumers of agricultural products. The purpose of Honor Awards is to provide high-level recognition to deserving USDA employees at all levels and private citizens who have made outstanding contributions supporting the USDA's mission. The Honor Awards Program was created in 1947.

Federici received the award "for research on insect pathogens, especially Bt [Bacillus thuringiensis], that has led to a novel biocontrol product and has significantly enhanced understanding of microbial pest control agents." Federici's research exploits Bt as an environmentally safe and effective method for controlling agricultural insect pests. Several significant discoveries during his career include explaining and manipulating the processes that make certain Bt strains more potent, engineering novel biocontrol agents, and discovering a new class of insect viruses.

The award recognizes Federici's objectivity in the line of his own research and assessment of the research of others dealing with the safety of genetically engineered food crops (such as Bt corn), with specific reference to the safety of these foods to humans and non-target organisms (such as the monarch butterfly and beneficial insects such as insect-parasitic wasps and beetles that prey on pest insects).

"I am honored to receive the award,"
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Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@citrus.ucr.edu
909-787-2645
University of California - Riverside
16-Jun-2003


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