From November 9-20, 2015, nineteen Chinese officials from the Guangdong Food and Drug Administration took part in JIFSAN’s Leadership Development Program in Food Safety led by Dr. John Jones, former FDA Senior International Policy Analyst. As Guangdong is a major hub of food production, many commodities from seafood to processed foods are exported to the United States from this area of China. The program aimed to provide its participants, China’s food and safety regulation experts, with a comprehensive overview of topics considered of primary importance by the United States. This program tied together topics regarding the implementation of food safety regulations that are relevant to both the U.S. and China, who have a mutual interest in these preventative controls.
The 10-day training included an overview of the U.S. food safety system and its agency organizational approaches to addressing issues and implementing regulations. Representatives from the following agencies provided presentations and discussions:
- Food and Drug Administration Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Food Safety and Inspection Service Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
- Agricultural Marketing Service
- Foreign Agricultural Service
- Environmental Protection Agency
- National marine Fisheries Service
- Office of the United States Trade Representative
In addition to in-class learning, participants engaged in a field trip to University of Maryland Wye Research and Education Center located in Queenstown, MD. Mike Newell, WREC Horticulture Crops Program Manager, and Chris Walsh, Professor in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, hosted the group. They were able to provide insight and answer questions which sought to distinguish state food safety regulations from federal regulations, as well as many other topics.
Also included was a tour and demonstration of the JIFSAN International Food Safety Training Laboratory (IFSTL) which provides trainings in microbial and chemical laboratory methods to students worldwide.
Participants were quite satisfied with their experience, commenting that the training broadened their horizons, enhanced their abilities, demonstrated their talents and helped them network and build lasting relationships.