Researchers Tell FDA: Provide Guidance on Blockchain for Food Safety

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A global technology research firm urges the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to offer clear guidance on blockchain apps to improve food safety.

Federal research needed

FoodOnline reported on Oct. 21 that Alex Manders, the head of blockchain solutions at Information Services Group (ISG), a Connecticut-based tech research and advisory firm, has urged the FDA to take a closer look at the potential of blockchain technology.

Speaking at an FDA public meeting called «A New Era of Smarter Food Safety,» Manders argued that the FDA should examine blockchain vendors, solutions and investment options and provide guidance for enterprises across the food supply chain on how to use blockchain to improve food safety.

Top challenges are “non-technical”

According to ISG, the most important challenges associated with blockchain adoption in the food and beverage industry are “non-technical,” but rather the incomplete awareness about the existing blockchain infrastructure including vendors and collaboration models. 

As such, the top challenges also include a lack of established industry and governance frameworks, he added.

Outlining the potential for blockchain technology to make the food supply chain more transparent and efficient, ISG also called for the FDA to set up funds or grants for farmers, harvesters, distributors and retailers that decide to implement blockchain.

Last week, global tech giant IBM announced a collaboration with Massachusetts-based food firm Raw Seafoods to digitize the supply chain for scallops sourced from the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery via the IBM Blockchain Platform.

In early September, Swiss food retail giant Nestlé, however, revealed that its blockchain-based supply chain project has been considerably more challenging than many other digital innovation plans, making the organization reevaluate its traditional business practices.