Presentation Today at USP Workshop: EMA of Food and Dietary Supplements

Written by: John Spink

Primary Source: Food Fraud Initiative Blog

usp  9 2013 title slideThe goal is not to develop new or better tests… the goal is to prevent public health threats.  That said, it is critical to understand the complexity and challenges of Food Fraud and Dietary Supplement Fraud prevention.

I’ve mentioned before that that I am honored to work with the staff and volunteers of the US Pharmacopeia (USP) Expert Panels and Expert Committees.  These are some of the smartest and most dedicated people in the food world.  I’ve been primarily working with them in the food area but am now expanding to drugs and dietary supplements as well.  My role has been to bring a behavioral sciences and criminology approach to prevention.

While understanding the bad guy is the key to selecting countermeasures, we can’t just rely on enforcement.  It is critical to start from the science – the food science – before initiating any countermeasures.  We need to have, first, an understanding of the limitations and opportunities in detection.  Next, we need to understand the nature of the food supply chain and industry.  Combining these two areas of expertise creates the foundation for selecting or developing countermeasures.  The challenge is sparking action.

I am presenting today at this workshop, and will start by stating “The time to act on EMA is now”.  As I’ve heard at conferences and events ‘If not now, then when?; if not us; then who?”  Organizations such as USP – among others – have a unique position and opportunity to help lead the protection of the food supply from economically motivated adulteration.  I hope my presentation and participation can help support this goal.

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John Spink
Dr. Spink has been focused on product fraud since the Michigan State University’s Food Safety Program and the School of Packaging began research on the topic in 2006. This work expanded to the behavioral sciences and criminology and led to the establishment of the Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection Initiative in 2008. In 2009 the work shifted to the School of Criminal Justice where the Initiative evolved into a Program.