Tag Archives: soil

White House

Pres. Biden Issues Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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White House

On September 12, President Joe Biden issued an executive order, “Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy.”

The order outlines a “whole-of-government approach” to advance biotechnology and biomanufacturing towards innovative solutions in health, climate change, energy, food security, agriculture, supply chain resilience and national and economic security.

The executive order is part of the administration’s efforts to strengthen U.S.-based manufacturing and keep the country at the forefront of innovation in bioengineering.

In a press briefing, senior administration officials announced that on Wednesday (9/14), the White House will host a summit on the bioeconomy and biomanufacturing, during which the administration will announce new investments and resources across a wide range of agencies to support biotechnology and biomanufacturing.

In addition to federal investments, the initiative will include actions “to create more robust markets for bio-based products at home and globally to expand access to biotechnology and to translate research and development into vital products and services faster,” said the official.

The key areas of focus for the administration include:

  • Strengthening supply chains and lowering prices through bio-based production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, biomanufacturing facilities that do not rely on foreign suppliers and biomining of rare earth elements. The goal of these efforts is to provide consumers access to products made in America at lower prices, even in times of global supply chain disruptions.
  • Expanding domestic biomanufacturing capacity so more of what is invented in America is made in America.
  • Facilitating more data sharing and data access to advance the development of biotechnology and the bioeconomy writ large.
  • Creating jobs and growing the strength and diversity of the bioeconomy, including by supporting a diverse workforce and ensuring the benefits of these initiatives are distributed across the country.
  • Expanding training and education opportunities in community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and other minority-serving institutions.
  • Improving food security and driving agricultural innovation through new technologies that protect crops from disease, and enhance seeds and fertilizers and foods made with cultured animal cells.
  • Creating personalized medicines, less invasive tools for disease detection, efficient vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing, and more effective and safer therapies.
  • Reducing the impact of climate change on America’s families and workers, including through replacing foreign petrochemicals with locally produced bio-based chemicals, using biofuels to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and developing soil microbes and crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.




E. Coli Outbreaks Linked to Salinas-Grown Romaine Lettuce Over, Deputy Commissioner Yiannas Releases Statement

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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Yesterday the CDC reported that the E.coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in the Salinas, CA growing region is over. The contaminated lettuce should no longer be available, and FDA states that consumers do not need to avoid romaine lettuce from Salinas. The agency will continue its investigation into the potential factors and sources that led to the outbreak.

The FDA did identify a common grower link to the E.coli O157:H7 contamination as a result of its traceback investigation. However, a statement released yesterday by FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas points out that “this grower does not explain all of the illnesses seen in these outbreaks.”

To be specific, the FDA, CDC and other public health agencies were tracking three outbreaks involving three separate strains of E.coli O157:H7 linked to romaine lettuce. During the course of the investigation FDA, CDC, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Department of Public Health conducted sampling of the water, soil and compost of several of the fields in the lower Salinas Valley that were connected to the outbreak. “So far, sample results have come back negative for all of the three outbreak strains of E. coli O157:H7. However, we did find a strain of E. coli that is unrelated to any illnesses in a soil sample taken near a run-off point in a buffer zone between a field where product was harvested and where cattle are known to occasionally graze,” Yiannas said in the agency statement. “This could be an important clue that will be further examined as our investigation continues. However, this clue does not explain the illnesses seen in these outbreaks.”

Finding the contamination source(s) is critical, as it will aid romaine growers in putting safeguards in place to help prevent future contamination.

As for the final case count (with last illness onset on December 21, 2019) of this outbreak, there were 167 total illnesses and 85 hospitalizations across the United States. No deaths were reported.