1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this Annex is to establish the ‘virtual’ Joint U.S.-Sino Food Safety Research Center between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), Shanghai, the People’s Republic of China. ARS and SJTU, hereinafter referred to as the “Parties”, which hereby affirm their mutual interest in, and desire to promote and develop cooperation in training and research programs through collaboration in the ‘Center.’ This Annex is subject to the terms and conditions of the S & T Agreement and the Protocol. In the event of any conflict between the terms and conditions of the S & T Agreement or the Protocol and this Annex, the S & T Agreement and the Protocol shall govern.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Cooperative activities may be conducted in food safety and all the related fields cooperated in the future. Cooperative activities in other areas may be undertaken and included within the scope of this Memorandum by mutual decision of the Parties in accordance with thee enabling authorities of each Party. Cooperative organizations also may include Purdue University of the United States and Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Food Safety of China. Cooperation under this Annex may include, but is not limited to, the following topic areas: • Develop new rapid pathogen detection processes and effective assessment and control systems to resolve the obstacles related to food safety occurred in food industries and business. • Develop new analysis methods of chemical hazards in foods and their surrounding environments. • Basic research on food safety issues. • Food safety technological standards. • Recent priority and specific targeted research areas involve: -Using nucleic acid and/or protein-type of biomarkers to screen the presence of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and other pathogens and toxins; identification and characterization of their toxic genes -Developing rapid and effective pathogen concentration/capture processes -Integrated the detection and capture processes to form automated detection platforms that are suitable for high-throughput needs. Cooperation arrangements may include: • Exchange of scholars and students between Jiao Tong University and ARS for six month or longer terms • Exchange information through seminars during short visits • Arrangements of annual research meetings between Parties to evaluate the progress and effectiveness of established collaborations and to propose new collaboration opportunities. The annual meetings should take place alternately between US and China. • Whenever possible, the Parties will consider developing joint research proposals geared toward solving food safety related specific trade issues. • Establishment of a Joint US-Sino Food Safety Research Center among Parties To generate broad interest and increased activities, the Parties will, upon mutual consent, involve other interested stakeholders and entities that may contribute to improved technological processes including value added and agricultural utilization through the engagement of the scientific and business communities, trade capacity-building activities, and scientific cooperation and exchanges during the implementation of this Annex. These activities may be driven towards the ultimate goal of improving the nutritional food safety of the food supply.
3. Progress Report
This report documents research conducted under an MOU with the Chinese Ministry of Science & Technology. The annual Joint Working Group that scheduled for September 14th, 2010 in Yangling China to review progress on this activity was been postponed pending confirmation of the new REE Undersecretary. (1) Establishment of the “Virtual” Joint US-Sino Food Safety Research Center. Several Chinese governmental and university representatives participated in the joint Purdue University-USDA Food Safety Meeting October 2009. This also served as the 2nd Annual Meeting of the Joint US-Sino Food Safety Research Centers established by signing the USDA-MOST protocol Annex VIII Agreement between Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and the ARS in 2008. The four-member Institutes associated with the Centers including the Bor-Loh Food Safety Research Center of SJTU, Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Food Safety, ARS’ Eastern Regional Research Center and the Center for Food Safety Engineering of Purdue University (CFSE. About 40 Purdue faculty and students and 25 ARS scientists and administrators attended October meeting at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, including senior administrators from both institutions to provide their support and encouragement to the efforts of the joint Centers. The meeting consisted of a series of presentations on the progress of collaborative food safety research. The involvement of all parties has been instrumental for the establishment of the joint Centers. One of the most important topics discussed in this meeting was the future research collaborations under the framework of the Joint US-Sino Food Safety Research Centers. This was the first opportunity after signing the collaboration agreement in May of 2008 for all four partners meeting together to discuss this issue. (2) Collaborative Activities of the Joint Center. Under the agreement, Shanghai JiaoTong University has sent several visiting scientists and students to the Molecular Characterization of Foodborne Pathogens Research Unit at ERRC, Wyndmoor, PA. The Unit hosted research study tours of Bor-Luh Food Safety Center scientists to participate in the ARS project of developing of biosensor processes for pathogen detection in foods. The visitors are financially supported by the Chinese Science Council and Shanghai JiaoTong University. ARS-ERRC has provided the some supplemental support for the visitors. These collaborative studies have so far resulted in 4 published papers and 3 more manuscripts at various stages of preparation.