(Washington, D.C.) The food, beverage and consumer products industries, in association with the Grocery Manufacturers Association and Michigan State University (MSU), today announced the establishment of the Center for Research on Ingredient Safety (CRIS).
An independent, academic, science-based center, CRIS will serve as a reliable and unbiased source for information, research, training and analysis on the safe use of chemical ingredients in consumer packaged goods including foods, beverages, cosmetics and household consumer products.
“Ensuring the safety of our products - and maintaining the confidence of consumers - is the single most important goal of our industry,” said GMA’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. Leon Bruner. “We are very pleased to be part of the founding of the Center for Research on Ingredient Safety.The center will be an independent resource for a broad range of stakeholders that provides unbiased analysis and information on the safety of ingredients used in foods and consumers products.”
CRIS will be modeled after already existing centers of expertise at other academic institutions which focus on allergen and microbiological safety. It will be located at MSU and will governed by an advisory board composed of multiple stakeholders, including academic, industry, NGO and regulatory representatives.
Also partnering on the endeavor is the University of Michigan Risk Science Center. The RSC will lead the communications component by developing innovative approaches to connecting the CRIS research with stakeholders. In addition, the Center will provide responsive and evidence-informed risk/benefit insights into topical issues on food ingredient safety.
“Michigan State University has what may be the largest and most diverse cohort of faculty in the nation working directly on food and consumer product safety issues, and the university has great strength in the discipline of toxicology,” said Fred Poston, dean of MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “It is natural that a national center devoted to food and consumer product ingredient safety will be located at MSU.”
“Partnerships, like the one that establishes the Endowed Chair in Ingredient Safety with the Grocery Manufacturers Association and its members, show that safe and secure food and consumer products truly change the world,” said Fred Derksen chairperson of MSU’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. “In addition to the support of the endowed chair, MSU is committed to establishing this center whose core is research, educates the next generation of scientists, informs regulators and serves industry.”
The Michigan State University Center for Research on Ingredient Safety (CRIS) in connection with MSU and GMA will work to achieve the following goals:
- Expand the opportunity to conduct basic and applied research on the safety and toxicology of ingredients in food, packaging, cosmetics and household care products
- Develop and validate testing methods and strategies for evaluating the safety of ingredients in food, packaging, cosmetics and household care products.
- Establish a graduate training program that prepares scientists for a career in assessing the safety and toxicology of ingredients in food, packaging, cosmetics and household care products that includes training in risk assessment and U.S. and international regulatory policies.
- Inform the public, health professionals, regulators and the scientific community on research matters reflecting the state-of-the-science pertaining to the safety and toxicology of ingredients in food, packaging, cosmetics and household care products.
Also partnering in the endeavor is University of Michigan Risk Science Center (www.riskscience.umich.edu).
CRIS will be supported through the establishment of an endowed chair that will be funded with contributions provided by organizations and individual supporters.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe.
Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day. The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders.
In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year.
Michigan State University has been working to advance the common good in uncommon ways for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU focuses its vast resources on creating solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.
The University of Michigan Risk Science Center (RSC) is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to supporting science-informed decision making on existing and emerging human health risks. Drawing on expertise spanning public health, risk assessment, medicine, business, engineering, public policy, social research, economics and communication, the Center brings a unique and integrative approach to the increasingly complex challenges of addressing health risks associated with technological, social and economic change, while balancing the need for sustainable social and economic growth.