By , 10 December, 2008, No Comment

This blog will focus on the intersection of science and policy as they impact food safety. From time to time, we will comment on deficiencies in food policy and lapses or gaps in our knowledge of the science of food safety. Our objective is to stimulate a vigorous debate on food safety science and policy with the goal of spurring action on the part of producers, processors and regulators to improve the safety of foods consumed in the United States.


Bala Swaminathan spent 20 years (1986 – 2006) working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He served as the Chief of the Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Laboratory Section in the Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases from 1994 to 2006. During his tenure at CDC, he established the PulseNet Network to rapidly recognize clusters of foodborne disease that may have a common source of contamination.

Nikhil Swaminathan is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. He was a reporter at Scientific American and an associate editor at SEED magazine. His work has appeared in both of those publications, as well as The New York Post, The Village Voice, Scientific American Mind, Psychology Today and GOOD. He grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, afraid to eat a number of foods thanks to his coauthor on this blog.

Craig Hedberg is an internationally recognized expert on the epidemiology of foodborne diseases. He received his masters degree in environmental health and his Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. From 1985 to 1999, he served as supervisor of the Minnesota’s Department of Health’s Foodborne, Vectorborne and Zoonotic Diseases Unit at the Minnesota Department of Health. Presently, Hedberg is a professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. His primary research interests focus on evaluating the timeliness and effectiveness of public health surveillance to improve outbreak investigations and disease control efforts.

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