A new Center for Animal Health and Food Safety has been established at the University of Minnesota in a bid to combat threats to the food supply resulting from both natural causes and bio terrorism.

Its newly appointed head, Dr Will Hueston, explained that the centre will be unique in its move to coordinate scientists and research on all stages of food production.

It will link scientists from the College of Agriculture Food and Environmental Sciences with the College of Veterinary Medicine, the School of Public Health, the Medical School, and the Extension Service. Meanwhile outside the university, project collaboration exists in the form of Minnesota's Board of Animal Health; its Departments of Health, Agriculture, and Natural Resources, and the animal and food safety units of the US Department of Agriculture.
 
Hueston commented: "We have all the parts at the university, plus we have the sixth-largest agriculture in terms of farm production. We are a centre for the food industry with all the food companies based here.

"And we have a state economy that is at least 25% dependent on food and agriculture."