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Johanns Awards More Than $12 Million in Food Safety Grants

Terri Teuber 202-720-4623
Jennifer Martin (202) 720-8188

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List of grantees

LONDON, Ohio, Sept. 20, 2005 - Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said today that USDA has awarded more than $12 million in grants to universities nationwide. The grants will focus on addressing priority food safety issues by integrating applied research, classroom education and outreach to consumers and industry through the National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (NIFSI).

"The research funded by these grants will help us to find new and innovative ways to ensure we continue to have the safest food supply in the world," Johanns said. " The research projects will address food safety issues ranging from on-farm production, post-harvest processing and distribution, to food selection, preparation and consumption." Johanns made the announcement prior to hosting the twentieth in a series of Farm Bill Forums in which members of the public are invited to express their views about farm and rural policy, in preparation for the development of the next farm bill in 2007.

The NIFSI grant program, administered through USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), is an annual grant program open to faculty from all four-year colleges and universities. Researchers and educators may apply for up to $600,000 per grant. This year, an average of $500,000 was awarded to support integrated food safety projects at 16 U.S. colleges and universities.

Each year, NIFSI awards these funds so that valuable research, education and extension knowledge is transferred to teachers, scientists, health professionals, researchers, farmers, food processors, foodservice workers, consumers and all others making crucial decisions about the safety of the U.S. food supply.

In addition to standard grants, special emphasis grants were made available to Colorado State University, the University of Minnesota, and Rutgers University in the amount of $2 million. These grants are given to researchers studying high priority areas such as food defense and food biosecurity.

Descriptions of grant winners can be found in the attached fact sheet or online at: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/nea/food/sri/safety_sri_cp05.html.

CSREES advances knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. For more information visit http://www.csrees.usda.gov.