OTTAWA, Ontario – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with French food regulator, Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de ‘'environnement et du travail (ANSES). The agreement commits the two agencies to collaborate on science and research on genomics and proteomics, the study of proteins.

CFIA and ANSES intend to cooperate on innovative research conducted at CFIA’s network of 13 reference and research laboratories, and the ANSES network of 11 laboratories throughout France. The agencies’ focus will be to further develop research on genomics and proteomics to better understand food and animal diseases and how to detect them.

“The CFIA is a global leader in protecting food, animals and plants through science,” Dr. Primal Silva, acting Vice President of Science, CFIA, said in a statement. “This agreement with ANSES allows our scientists and laboratories to better work together on innovative science and best practices that protect people, the environment and the economy.”

The agreement will leverage Canada’s strengths as a leader in DNA Barcoding, in which a small DNA sequence is used to identify different species, similar to how a supermarket identifies product purchases using a barcode and scanner. The technique can be used to identify food fraud and food borne illnesses, according to CFIA.

CFIA noted that DNA Barcoding, whole genome sequencing and other scientific techniques already are refining and improving the way that the agency detects and studies foodborne illness, invasive species, plant and animal diseases.

"In a globalized world where Canada trades internationally, threats such as foreign animal diseases, invasive species and anti-microbial resistance are global issues that know no borders,” Dr. Primal said. “The CFIA will continue to develop international partnerships so we can further protect Canadians through global scientific innovation and collaboration.”