ICF Consulting announced today that it has been awarded a multimillion-dollar, five-year contract to support the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its review and evaluation of scientific information on food substances. The majority of the effort will be to assess the toxicity and risk of these substances in support of FDA's premarket safety evaluation process. Other areas of work under the new contract will include the review and evaluation of environmental and chemistry information, in addition to other safety information such as public comments submitted to FDA.

ICF Consulting has provided similar scientific support to FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition for four years under a predecessor contract. That work has focused on the toxicology evaluation for "direct" food additives, including color additives and food ingredients generally regarded as safe. The new contract has an expanded scope of work that addresses not only direct food additives but also food-contact substances, which include substances that could migrate into food from packaging and other food contact materials.

"The safety of food substances is a critical public health issue for the government, food manufacturers and processors, and everyday consumers," said Dr. Ellen Mantus, director of the contract at ICF Consulting.

"This new contract will allow ICF Consulting's toxicologists and other scientists to remain at the forefront of this issue by assisting FDA in critically evaluating data related to food safety," said Peter Linquiti, ICF Consulting executive vice president.

Widely recognized for its expertise in toxicology and risk assessment, ICF Consulting has conducted hundreds of projects to evaluate the human health and environmental risks of chemicals in manufacturing materials, products, and waste streams. ICF Consulting clients include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, other government agencies, and private corporations.

ICF Consulting, with more than 30 years of experience, is one of the world's leading professional services firms advising clients on managing global resources in a sustainable way. ICF Consulting helps clients optimize energy resources, meet environmental challenges, foster economic and community development, enhance transportation projects and policies, and manage information technology resources. ICF Consulting's more than 750 employees are based in Fairfax, Virginia and in 15 other offices throughout the world. The firm reported gross revenue of more than $100 million in 1999. For additional information, please visit the Web site at www.icfconsulting.com.