Three Labs Get $750,000 Each to Bolster Food Screening

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Regulatory Affairs awarded three $750,000 grants Nov. 19 to increase food screening capabilities and detect radioactive material in foods from either deliberate or accidental contamination. The labs are part of FDA's Food Emergency Response Network (FERN).

The grants provide $250,000 per year for supplies, personnel, minor facility upgrades, and training to the Texas Department of State Health Services Laboratory, the New York Health Research/New York Department of Health, and the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. The FDA office will expand its testing program to address this threat and has developed radiological screening and analysis methodologies on which the lab personnel will be trained.

FERN's mission is to integrate the nation's state, federal, and local food testing labs into a network able to respond to emergencies.

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