University of Minnesota to lead national effort in food bio-security

(MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL) April 27, 2004 The University of Minnesota has been named one of three U.S. Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence and has received a $15 million, three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help develop ways to protect the nation's food supply from deliberate contamination or terrorist attack.

The university's Center of Excellence, known as the University Center for Post-Harvest Food Protection and Defense (PHFPD) is a national consortium of academic, private sector, and government partners including three other universities (Michigan State University, North Dakota State University, and University of WisconsinMadison), experts at 12 more universities, independent research facilities, state health and agriculture agencies, professional organizations, and agriculture and food industry companies, and private sector consultants. More than 90 investigators make up the consortium.

"The breadth and depth of food security knowledge we were able to pull together for this effort is unparalleled," says Frank Busta, University of Minnesota's Department of Food Science and Nutrition and principal investigator on the grant.

"The University of Minnesota, with extraordinary strength and expertise in the health, animal and food sciences, is uniquely positioned to develop interdisciplinary collaborations," said President Robert Bruininks. "We're proud to lead this important effort and look forward to working with our partners in academia, public health, industry and government to make our nation's food supply safer."

"This University of Minnesota team includes some of the brightest, most accomplished people in food production and health safety. Their recognition as a Homeland Security Center of Excellence is well deserved. I know they will make fine contributions to the protection of our national food supply," said Congressman Martin Sabo. Congressman Sabo is the ranking Democrat on the House Homela

Contact: Molly Portz
University of Minnesota

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