U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. About FDA
  3. Partnerships: Enhancing Science Through Collaborations With FDA
  4. FDA Memoranda of Understanding
  5. Domestic MOUs
  6. MOU 225-20-007
  1. Domestic MOUs

MOU 225-20-007



 The purpose of this document is to establish a formal partnership agreement which will coordinate and expand the food protection efforts between the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This agreement is to loan a Portable Gamma-ray Analysis System to ADEC allowing the state radioanalytical capacity and expertise, emergency response capability and provide continued monitoring of Alaskan Coastal water finfish for radionuclides in response to the Fukushima emergency. ADEC will collect and analyze the samples, providing FDA with the analytical results. FDA will return the final report of analytical results to ADEC.


 This agreement covers a period of three years from the date of signature. This time frame will give all parties sufficient time to measure the program outcomes that have resulted from the partnership agreement, modify if warranted, and renew with consent of the partners. Review of the PA and goals will be conducted face to face annually. This PA maybe amended or modified by mutual consent of all parties. Any partner on  their imitative may submit a proposed amendment or modification in writing for all parties to review and agree upon. Modifications and amendments will be tracked and documented during the annual review and maintained for historical purposes. This Partnership Agreement is effective upon signing and shall remain in effect until  termination by any partner upon thirty (30) day advance written notice to the other  partners.


 Currently the United States has limited radio-analytical capacity nationwide due to: resources required for establishing and sustaining laboratory infrastructure and  expertise, and a global shortage of radio-analytical expertise. This project will develop radionuclide capability in the state of Alaska which will be beneficial both for routine  annual  radionuclide monitoring but more importantly for capacity in emergency  response if needed. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation have annually been monitoring coastal finfish samples in response to the Fukushima event at the request of the public and the  Fukushima Interagency Workgroup.

 Our objective is to provide training/expertise on use of the portable gamma-ray analysis system and continued sampling and monitoring of coastal finfish in response to the Fukushima event.

 This will ensure increased public health/safety in the event of a crisis, promote the interagency cooperation needed to successfully achieve common goals in public  health, and avoid duplication of sampling efforts by the state and federal agencies thereby saving valuable resources.


 Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

a. FDA will loan to ADEC existing equipment (Portable Gamma-Ray Analysis System) needed for sample analysis. The equipment is subject to the same accountability rules as if purchased for FDA use, but may be loaned under an agreement as provided in Staff Manual Guide 2620.4, Loan of Personal Property. See also statement in which “borrower” is responsible for damage and/or repairs of equipment.

b. FDA will provide initial training to ADEC employees on use of the Portable Gamma- Ray Analysis System.

c. FDA will provide assistance and technical support for the unit.

d. FDA will process the data generated from sample analysis and provide a final report of analytical results to ADEC.

e. FDA will collaborate with ADEC to develop a list of finfish species to be sampled and analyzed.

 Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC):

a. ADEC will collect and analyze finfish species and/or food samples from designated areas as mutually agreed upon.

b. ADEC will ensure these samples are collected in a timely fashion or within agreed upon time frame.

c. ADEC will package and transport the samples as mutually agreed upon to the ADEC Laboratory.

d. ADEC will provide two radionuclide standards needed for the portable gamma-ray analysis system.

e. ADEC will provide data line to provide analytical results to WEAC laboratory.


ADEC will share sample collection information in timely manner to FDA  to incorporate into the FACTS system.


a. Partners will provide personnel needed for training session.

 b. Partners will individually fund any travel expenses associated with training.

 c. ADEC will individually fund sample collections performed from their operating budget.


 The purpose of this partnership agreement is to foster interaction, cooperation and  coordination between the parties in the furtherance of the public health. No consideration has been given or received by either party to enter this agreement. It is not  legally binding and does not constitute a promise on the part of either party for performance. It does not create a legally enforceable contract and the parties agree that no remedies at law or equity will be sought by either party for non-performance of this  agreement. It does not impose additional legal duties, rights, benefits, or responsibilities, or remedies of either the parties or of third party. This partnership agreement imposes  no  duty on either party to act or to refrain from acting.


 Access to non-public information, where appropriate, shall be governed by separate  Confidentiality Disclosure Agreements entered into under the authority of 21 C.F.R. §  20.88 and in which the Partners will agree and certify in writing that they shall not  further  release, publish or disclose such information and that they shall protect such  information in accordance with the provisions of 21 U.S.C. 331(j), 21 U.S.C. 360j(c), 18  U.S.C. 1905, 5 U.S.C. § 552(a), 21 C.F.R. Part 20 and other applicable laws and regulations governing the confidentiality of such information. No proprietary data,  trade secrets or personal privacy information shall be disclosed among the Partners unless permitted by applicable law. Parties seeking to enter into Confidentiality  Disclosure Agreements should contact ORA’s Office of Strategic Policy and Operational  Planning/ Division of Information Disclosure by sending a request via email to  ORAInfoshare@fda.hhs.gov.


 Partners to this PA will make all attempts, at a minimum annually, but may try to meet  quarterly to discuss the outcome of current partnership, evaluate usefulness, and make  modifications, as needed.

a. Interim monitoring will occur monthly for each functional element.

b. An annual review for each functional element of this PA will be completed by representatives from each partner. Review of the extent to which the PA enhances the sharing of resources to meet each partner’s mission.
 1.  Review of the extent to which the PA achieves maximum consumer protection for public and health safety.

 2.  Partners will identify new areas for developing partnership activities and agreements.

 3.  As necessary and appropriate, evaluate and review materials provided and shared by each partner.


 Based on the annual evaluations performed, the evaluators will jointly prepare several  options for follow-up partner actions, if and when appropriate, for approval by the signatories to this agreement.


Approved and accepted for the Food and Drug Administration:

Erik P. Mettler, MPA, MPH
Assistant Commissioner
Office of Partnerships and Operating Policy

Date: 04/02/2020

Miriam R. Burbach
Seattle District Director
Division of Human and Animal Food Operations West VI

Date: 1/30/2020

Brian Baker
Winchester Engineering & Analytical Center (WEAC)

Date: 12/09/019

Approved and Accepted for the Alaska Division of Environmental Conservation:

Christina Carpenter
Division of Environmental Conservation
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

Date: 12/09/2020


Back to Top