The FDA’s Innovative Food Defense Program (IFDP) continually seeks to support innovative concepts, projects or novel solutions to address gaps in, or provide enhancement to, food defense efforts nationwide. As we continue to move forward in meeting our food defense goals by increasing preparedness, developing response plans, and ensuring we have the tools to facilitate recovery, we must also integrate these approaches into our existing food safety infrastructure. The overlap between food safety (unintentional contamination) and food defense (intentional contamination) is extensive and the pool of resources available is often the same. Food safety and food defense are ongoing issues and it is critical that these programs be integrated to the maximum extent possible in order to ensure the most efficient use of resources as well as to optimize response to an event. FDA is committed to this approach in order to make optimal use of both human and financial resources to protect public health. As a result, FDA and State field forces may weave components of food defense awareness and education into food safety inspections. The FDA encourages other stakeholders to consider the possibilities of incorporating food defense ideas into their food safety related programs.
FDA has relied on the States assisting with these activities through formal contracts, partnership agreements, and other arrangements. Under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, the demands on both the agency and the States have increased. Procedures need to be reviewed and innovative changes need to be made. These changes should increase effectiveness and efficiency and conserve resources. CFSAN will continue to support food defense programs by providing high quality, science-based work that result in maximizing consumer protection. FDA believes that these grants will be able to generate significant innovative projects and products that will benefit State and local governments, FDA, the industry, and the general public in the area of food defense, just as past awards have benefited all stakeholders in food safety. It is anticipated that innovative food defense programs and concepts that are developed at the State and local levels could enhance programs that are developed at the Federal level. To view past innovative food defense awards that have been generated out of this work, or to review the currently funded project abstracts, see the Innovative Food Defense Program.
If you have any further questions about the IFDP, or to discuss completed IFDP projects, please email the Food Defense Oversight Team at FoodDefense@fda.hhs.gov .