News

Safeguarding the American Food Supply

April 03, 2015

Ursinus students join experts and policy makers to explore and consider policy on the challenges posed by food safety issues.

How safe is the American food supply? How can government protect against foodborne outbreaks,  adulteration, industrial-scale animal production, and food that is unhealthy? And how can credible science help shape public policy on the safety of the food supply?

Ursinus College students will join experts and policy makers at Ursinus College April 10 and 11, when a  conference, “Safeguarding the American Food Supply,” will explore and consider policy on the challenges posed by food safety issues.

The public is welcome to join the conference coordinated by The Ursinus College Center for Science and the Common Good, the Institute on Science for Global Policy (ISGP) and Sigma Xi, the international scientific honor society. Registration is required: https://www.ursinus.edu/live/forms/25-conference-registration

Ursinus is the first undergraduate college to hold a conference with ISGP on this topic. Exploring some of the most important issues facing society, Ursinus students are full partners in science-policy discussions that include internationally-recognized scientists and policy-makers from government, the private sector, and the community. Participating students are taking a class on the topic this semester, Safeguarding the American Food Supply, which is exploring  food-borne microbial threats to public health, industrial-scale animal production,  and non-infectious quality concerns with domestic and imported foods.

The conference presenters are internationally-recognized experts in the biology, agricultural sciences, veterinary medicine and government fields. Three expert speakers will address risk perception in food safety policies; the moral and ethical dilemmas of technological safeguards (such as the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture), and policies that will proactively address the threat of food fraud. 

Conference Speakers:

  • Robert Buchanan

    Director and Professor, Center for Food Safety and Security Systems, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland 

  • Karen Everstine

    Research Associate with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence based at the University of Minnesota

  • H. Morgan Scott

    Professor, School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University

    Moderator is George Atkinson, Executive Director, ISGP, and former Science and Technology Adviser to Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell.  Atkinson’s academic experience includes classroom and graduate teaching, scientific research, and administration. In the private sector he launched a new high-technology sensor development company serving the semiconductor industry. In the U.S. government, Atkinson served in several capacities, including as the Science and Technology Adviser to U.S. Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.  In January 2008, Atkinson launched the Institute on Science for Global Policy (ISGP). He was recently elected as President-elect of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.

    More information is available here: https://www.ursinus.edu/academics/center-for-science-and-the-common-good/sciencepolicy-conferences/  The Center is supported by an Undergraduate Science Education Grant from The Howard Hughes Medical Institute.