Milford, MA: Waters Corp. and the University of Maryland have formed a groundbreaking partnership to establish the first facility in the world to train scientists from foreign governments and manufacturers on the state-of-the-art methods of analysis that will help them meet U.S. food safety standards.
Set to open next year, the International Food Safety Training Laboratory (IFSTL) will be operated by the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN), a collaboration between the University of Maryland and U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The United States imports more than $80 billion worth of food from 150 countries, resulting in about 15 percent of the total U.S. food supply. The IFSTL, located at the University of Maryland, College Park, will provide year-round science-based, hands-on training that supports the FDA's food safety goals.
The IFSTL will be uniquely prepared to train scientists to detect both chemical and microbiological contaminants. Scientists have been seeking this kind of multifaceted training for years, and the IFSTL will fulfill this critical need.
Members of Congress applaud Waters efforts and leadership in the creation of the IFSTL, noting the importance of food safety issues.
"Food safety issues are vital in today's growing global marketplace. The creation of the International Food Safety Training Laboratory will help protect consumers. By training scientists here at home and abroad, we can work together towards a common goal of an internationally sound food safety testing system. I applaud Waters Corporation and am proud that a Massachusetts company is yet again leading the way in global scientific advances," says Senator John Kerry (D-MA) Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
"We must make every effort to ensure the safety of our food supply, and I applaud the establishment of the International Food Safety Training Laboratory at the University of Maryland," states Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Majority Leader. "This innovative public/private partnership will help ensure that manufacturers throughout the world understand and implement known quality controls essential to assuring the food we put on the table is safe to eat."
"Waters Corp.'s leadership to create the first-ever food safety training laboratory at the University of Maryland is a testament to their knowledge of and dedication to raising the level of food safety in America," says Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), a senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means.
"Families in Massachusetts and across the country can feel more comfortable putting food on their tables knowing the International Food Safety Training Laboratory and other public-private partnerships are helping the government to ensure the foods we import from overseas are safe."
"Waters Corporation is committed to bridging the gap between governments and industry to ensure the best science and most innovative technologies are used to make our food safe," says Douglas A. Berthiaume, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Waters Corporation. "We are proud to join with the University of Maryland to create this laboratory that will bolster the capabilities of both the FDA and our global partners as we work together to improve food safety."
"The University of Maryland is very excited about this innovative partnership through the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition," says President C. D. Mote, Jr. "This collaboration is a superb example of how the public and private sectors can maximize their impact by combining their strengths. The new programs have excellent potential for improving food safety internationally."