The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), Division of Federal-State Relations (DFSR), is announcing the availability of cooperative agreements for personnel, supplies, miscellaneous equipment, and training to Food Emergency Response Laboratory Network (FERN) chemistry
laboratories of State, local, and tribal governments.
The cooperative agreements are to enable the analyses of foods and food products in the event that redundancy and/or additional laboratory surge capacity is needed by FERN for analyses related to chemical terrorism and/or other adulteration.
These grants are also intended to expand participation in networks to enhance Federal, State, local, and tribal food safety and security efforts.The goal of ORA's cooperative agreement program is to complement, develop, and improve State, local, and Indian tribal food safety and security testing programs.
With cooperative agreement grant funds this will be accomplished through the provision of supplies, personnel, miscellaneous equipment, training in current food testing methodologies, participation in proficiency testing to establish additional reliable laboratory sample analysis capacity, participation in method enhancement activities to extend analysis capability, and analysis of surveillance samples.
In addition, laboratories will be encouraged to obtain laboratory accreditation through an international recognized accrediting body.
To this aim, successful applicants will undergo a quality management system assessment to be provided by FDA, Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), Division of Field Science (DFS).
In the event of a large-scale chemical terrorism or other adulteration event affecting foods or food products, the recipient may be required to perform selected chemical analyses of domestic and imported food samples collected and supplied to the laboratory by FDA or other government agencies through FDA.
These samples may consist of, but are not limited to, the following:
Vegetables and fruits (fresh and packaged); juices (concentrate and diluted); grains and grain products; seafood and other fish products; milk and other dairy products; infant formula; baby foods; bottled water; condiments; and alcoholic products (beer, wine, scotch).All grant application projects that are developed at State, local, and tribal levels must have national implications or application that can enhance Federal food safety and security programs.
There are four key project areas identified for this effort that must be addressed:(1) The use of Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis for the screening and identification of poisons, toxic substances, and unknown compounds in foods;(2) The use of Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS) analysis for the screening and identification of poisons, toxic substances, and unknown compounds in foods;(3) The use of Inductively Coupled Plasma/Mass Spectrometry (ICP/MS) analysis for the screening and identification of heavy metals and toxic elements in foods; and,(4) The use of Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and other antibody-based analyses for the screening and identification of unknown toxins in foods.FDA will support the projects covered by this notice under the authority of section 312 of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (the Bioterrorism Act) (Public Law 107-188).
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under number 9 3. 44 8.