Michigan State University (MSU) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) yesterday announced the establishment of the Center for Research on Ingredient Safety (CRIS).
An independent, academic, science-based center, the CRIS is designed to 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 Leon Bruner, GMA’s chief science officer. “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,” he added.
The CRIS will be modeled after existing centers of expertise at other academic institutions, which focus on allergen and microbiological safety. It will be located at MSU and will be governed by an advisory board composed of multiple stakeholders, including representatives from academia, industry, nongovernmental organizations and regulatory agencies.
“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.”
The Center 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 the University of Michigan Risk Science Center (RSC). 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.
The CRIS will be supported through the establishment of an Endowed Chair in Ingredient Safety that will be funded with contributions from organizations and individual supporters.