USDA launches Food Safety Institute of the Americas

Officials from the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture and dignitaries from other Western Hemisphere countries last month dedicated the Food Safety Institute of the Americas (FSIA) in Miami to develop and promote effective food safety education and training programs throughout North and South America.

“This institute is the first of its kind and seeks to provide a cooperative, educational-oriented relationship with the nations in the Western Hemisphere,” said Jim Moseley, USDA deputy secretary. “FSIA will address food safety and public health concerns by establishing and enhancing important networks among regulatory officials, researchers, public health officials, consumers, meat, poultry and egg processors and producers, as well as animal producers.”

Elsa Murano, under secretary for food safety, said the establishment of the institute supports priorities established by Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman to spur the exchange of information and technology among countries around the world. That theme was the centerpiece of ministerial-level meetings on science and technology held in Sacramento, Calif., in June 2003 and follow up meetings in May 2004 in Costa Rica and Burkino Faso in June 2004.

The grand opening activities began with a ceremonial signing of cooperative agreements between USDA, the University of Florida and Miami-Dade College, which are the first institutions to partner with FSIA in this endeavor.

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