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A Brief History of NCFPD

Monday, June 9, 2014


And a few more...

September 2001 – The terrorist organization al-Qaeda attacks the United States of America. The attacks resulted in over 3,000 deaths and caused over $10 billion in damages.

November 2002 – The Homeland Security Act passed in Congress to create the Department of Homeland Security in response to the 9/11 attacks.

March 2003 – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security opened its doors.

December 2003 – Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 established a national policy for Federal departments and agencies to identify and prioritize critical infrastructure and to protect them from terrorist attacks.

December 2003 – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate issued its second Broad Area Announcement for University Centers of Excellence focused on agro-terrorism.

January 2004 – Homeland Security Presidential Directive 9 established a national policy to defend the agriculture and food system against terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.

April 2004 – The University of Minnesota-led consortium was selected for the food protection and defense center of excellence from a total of fourteen consortia applicants.

June 2004 – NCFPD officially initiated with vision to “defend the safety of the food system through research and education” at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. The original grant was $15 million over 3 years.

July 2004 – NCFPD formally launched with Director Francis F. Busta, PhD; Associate Director Michael T. Osterholm, PhD; and Assistant Director Shaun P. Kennedy.

December 2004 – Tommy Thompson, former HHS Secretary, proclaimed, “I, for the life of me, cannot understand why the terrorist have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do.”

2005 – NCFPD received a $2 million USDA grant to demonstrate the ability to create and support a national web-based system, FoodSHIELD, to communicate, collaborate, educate and train between the stakeholders charged with protecting and defending the food supply.

January 2005 – The NCFPD Education Program team convened a workshop at Michigan State University to develop training materials, advanced course content, virtual training programs, and interdisciplinary degree options in food protection and defense.

April 2005 – NCFPD organized a research needs summit, “Food Defense Pertaining to Potential Intentional Contamination”, in Chicago, IL with the support from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).

July 2005 – NCFPD celebrated its one-year anniversary and presented a briefing of its progress and accomplishments for DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, DHS University Programs Director Mel Bernstein, DHS Infrastructure Coordination Deputy Director Paul Hightower, and Food and Agriculture Sector Coordinating Council representative Clay Detlefsen. NCFPD briefed on 32 projects.

Summer 2005 – NCFPD hosted its first teams of visiting scientists from Minority-Serving Institutions as part of the DHS Summer Faculty and Student Research Team Program.

August 2005 – NCFPD initiated a bi-monthly newsletter that covered current activities and research topics and was distributed through email. This allowed the Center to communicate with its vast network of stakeholders and investigators.

November 2005 – NCFPD hosted its first annual meeting in Atlanta, GA with participation from over 100 investigators, graduate students, postdocs, Industry Workgroup members, and federal partners.

November 2005 – NCFPD co-sponsored the Food Protection and Defense Research Conference which provided state-of-the-art presentations by national experts on a broad range of food protection and defense topics.

2006 – NCFPD and its consortium of universities, government agencies, and private sector organizations produced an astonishing amount of research in a brief period of time.

May 2007 – NCFPD leaders received the FDA Commissioner's Special Citation Award for 2007. The award was a reflection of the University of Minnesota's excellence and interdisciplinary investment in food safety research.

June 2007 – DHS renewed funding for NCFPD with $9 million over 2 years.

July 2007 – Shaun Kennedy is appointed Director of NCFPD.

February 2008 – The NCFPD office moved to the Veterinary Science Building on the Saint Paul Campus from the Minneapolis Campus of the University of Minnesota.

May 2008 – Demeter’s Resilience: An International Food Defense Exercise is hosted by NCFPD. The objective of the exercise was to facilitate discussion to increase awareness among the G8 governments of both the threat that would be posed by an intentional attack on the food supply and the international impact of such an attack.

January 2009 – Peanut butter is noted as the likely source of the ongoing Salmonella outbreak by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NCFPD continues to use this food safety incident as an example that demonstrates potential outcomes from intentional contamination.

February 2009 – NCFPD launched its electronic monthly newsletter with 272 subscribers. NCFPD’s newsletter is now delivered to over 2,100 food protection professionals around the world.

Summer 2009 – The first operational version of the Food and Agriculture Sector Criticality Assessment Tool (FASCAT) was fielded with 23 states utilizing the tool to report critical agriculture infrastructures. This process helped states and DHS prioritize the most important assets in order to maximize the impact of the limited resources available for protection. To date, over 500 sub-systems have been mapped in 31 states.    

December 2009 – NCFPD hosted its first presentation in the Research and Resources in Food Protection Monthly Webinar Series. NCFPD and its partners have produced nearly 50 presentations in this series since its inception and has been recognized as a top resource in food protection.

February 2010 – DHS renewed funding for NCFPD for $20 million over 6 years.

March 2010 – NCFPD was awarded the Science & Technology Impact Award for FASCAT at the 4th Annual Department of Homeland Security University Network Summit.

August 2010 – NCFPD hosted its first Food Defense Collaborative Exchange with representatives from Thailand and Peru for a weeklong workshop in conjunction with the APEC Food Defense Pilot Program and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Over 48 professionals from 15 different countries have been trained in the food defense program since its inception.

December 2010 – NCFPD expanded rapidly and outgrew its office space. The office was relocated to the Learning and Environmental Sciences Building a few blocks away on the University of Minnesota, Saint Paul campus.

January 2011 – The Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law. The Act aimed to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. 

May 2011 – NCFPD created a webpage that tracks the food and agriculture effects of the Fukushima nuclear incident. This was the first iteration of the current FIDES (Focused Integration of Data for Early Signals) project. Current work on this project has established the foundation to build a platform that allows for focused integration of data that provides a comprehensive, systematic process for monitoring potential food threats and identifying adverse food events.

August 2011 – NCFPD deployed the Academic version of the Consequence Management System, an interactive tool intended for under graduate and graduate instruction that visually illustrates realistic, real-world food contamination events.

January 2012 – U.S. and Canada Food Protection Tabletop exercise “Communication Surrounding an Intentional Food Contamination Event”.

July 2012 – NCFPD sponsored the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award in Food Protection. The winning team attended and presented at the International Association of Food Protection Annual Meeting with NCFPD.

July 2012 – University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler stated, "In the old days, agriculture meant feeding Minnesota. Today it means feeding the world and protecting the planet's food supply from disease and determined terrorists; our federally funded National Center for Food Protection and Defense does just that."

November 2012 – NCFPD launched its Food Defense Curriculum Guide, which provides learning outcomes, learning assessments, and links to over 125 combined readings, multi-media, and experiences to use in the classroom. The curriculum has been the basis for 2 for credit courses, 4 non-credit courses and has been download over 50 times.

January 2013 – NCFPD underwent a successful Mid-Term Review per the terms and conditions of its cooperative agreement with DHS OUP.

February 2013 – NCFPD launched two databases to aid in mitigating Economically Motivated Adulteration (EMA) of food, a $10-15 billion per year problem in the food industry. Other components of NCFPD’s EMA research portfolio include qualitative risk evaluations of EMA-prone food products and surveillance of trade data.

February 2013 – EMA is globally recognized as a major issue.

April 2013 – NCFPD announced the release of the Food and Agriculture Readiness Measurement (FARM) Toolkit. FARM Toolkit enables state governments to improve their response and recovery in the event of a food emergency.

May 2013 – NCFPD starts the Farm-to-Fork, Coast-to-Coast listening tour of organizations to collect information on what is needed in food defense research, education, and training initiatives.

July 2013 – NCFPD formalized a relationship with the Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine by signing a Memorandum of Understanding. This has been recognized as an important international partnership that will allow our collective efforts to improve the safety of the global food supply.

September 2013 – Amy Kircher, DrPH is appointed Director of NCFPD.

September 2013 – NCFPD launched the new Homeland Security University Program website and Project Reporting System.

September 2013 – NCFPD honored to be a founding member and on the Advisory Council of the Institute of Food Technologists’ Global Food Traceability Center. This relationship will serve to be a valuable interaction in supply chain studies.

January 2014 – NCFPD launched the new user interface and key feature updates to FoodSHIELD and the CoreSHIELD platforms.

January 2014 – NCFPD started offering individualized food defense training for organizations.

January 2014 – NCFPD initiated activities surrounding the FSMA Intentional Adulteration of Food Rule. These activities have allowed NCFPD to infuse a large number of perspectives into their comments on the proposed rule.

April 2014 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited the NCFPD office to learn more about EMA and our research portfolio highlights.

June 2014 – NCFPD celebrates 10 years of protecting and defending the food supply.