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CBL Hosts the ‘One Water, One Health’ Initiative - The Environmental Surveillance of Agricultural Water using WGS and its Impact on Food Safety

From 31/05/2019 To 31/05/2019
Location: FAO HQ, Rome, Italy

CBL’s ONE WATER ONE HEALTH addresses an integral concept of water as reflected in the proposed Sustainable Development Goal 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.  This includes access to safe, reliable and sustainable water (including irrigation water) and water used in food production and processing , adequate water management practices (including re-use), water efficiency and the protection of essential services by aquatic ecosystems, under the umbrella of integrated water resources management. CBL is hosting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) , who is actively engaged in surveilling the geographic variation of foodborne pathogens in water for agricultural use to better understand the environment’s relationship to foodborne contamination and public health. For example, within the United States, CFSAN scientists have undertaken environmental sampling exercises and subsequent whole-genome sequencing of the pathogens in surface water used for tomato irrigation (along with WGS information from clinical patients). These data led to a better understanding of the cause of some human illnesses and allowed for updated agriculture practices that reduced tomato contamination from contaminated water. CFSAN is currently undertaking other studies in other commodities to better understand and hopefully reduce foodborne contamination and foodborne illness, and is actively seeking other partners to expand our knowledge of the global geographic variation of foodborne pathogens to better understand and protect the global food supply and improve public health.

Dr. Steven Musser manages scientific operations within the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) at the United Stated Food and Drug Administration. In this capacity, he oversees the CFSAN’s activities in cosmetics safety, color certification, pre-market review of food additives, food contact notifications and foods derived from bioengineered plants. He has directed the CFSAN’s research in precedent setting areas of food and cosmetic safety research, which include food allergen detection, methods for detecting chemical contaminants, dietary supplement analysis, and the use of whole genome sequencing during foodborne illness outbreak investigations