Food safety projects funded for 19 universities, colleges

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio, August 13, 2004 (ENS): The University of Arizona has been awarded a $414,340 federal grant for the assessment of perchlorate content and risks of food crops irrigated with Colorado River water. Perchlorate is the primary ingredient of solid rocket propellant that is increasingly found in soil and water. Perchlorate interferes with iodide uptake into the thyroid gland, and is especially harmful to child development.

The University of California, Davis has been awarded $600,000 for a project on reducing the use of antibiotics and the incidence of antibiotic resistance on calf ranches.

These are just two of the 19 awards to universities and colleges totalling $12 million announced by Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman Thursday through the National Integrated Food Safety Initiative.

Veneman made the announcement in Springfield where she dedicated a National 4-H Monument and held a meeting to encourage young people to embark on careers in food production.

Most of the awards are in the half million dollar range and cover a wide range of issues from a Texas A&M grant to develop food irradiation techniques to an Oregon State University grant to minimize cadmium residues in shellfish.

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