National Center for Food Protection and Defense @ UofM

In 2004, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security established the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), headquartered at the University of Minnesota. This research consortium, which includes researchers from over 30 other universities, addresses the vulnerability of the nation’s food supply to attack. The NCFPD’s research and education mission is to reduce the potential for contamination of the food supply and to mitigate the potentially catastrophic public-health and economic effects of such an event. Dr. Amy Kircher, who has been working with MSI on the projects described below, was recently appointed Director of the NCFPD.

One threat to the food supply is called “economically motivated adulteration” or EMA. This type of food adulteration, in which less-expensive products are added to or substituted for higher-priced food in order to increase profits, has occurred for centuries. Recent examples from the news include the selling of horsemeat as beef in Europe, and, in China, adding melamine as an extender to milk and wheat gluten. The NCFPD is working to better understand the food supply, identify high-risk supplies, and do real-time analysis using a variety of data.




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