More Science Less Regulation

Departments - Columns

November 1, 2010

What is of most interest to you in QA magazine and our Website? Where would you like to see a stronger (or lesser) focus?

When we pose such questions to our Advisory Board and readers we meet on the road, the answer we most often hear is: More science, less regulation.

It’s not that there isn’t a need to stay updated on regulation, but that science should be the foundation for everything we do in our industry—including regulation.

In this issue, our Cover Profile focuses on the science-based produce safety practices of Earthbound Farm (page 10). In the Pathogen Detection Supplement (page 40), we visit with industry leaders to discuss the science of testing and where the industry is headed. And News (page 8) includes a number of significant scientific advances and a focus on the Food Safety and Security Symposium of Sigma Xi, the scientific research society.

Sigma Xi selects a current topic each year for its annual meeting. With the existing industry and regulatory focus on food safety and global food security, the society felt this to be a vital topic for this November’s conference. As it began selecting industry leaders for the session presentations, the society invited QA to be a part of a session on Quality Assurance & Food Production Systems.

A key point of QA magazine has long been our focus on plant profiles, intended to provide our readers with a look at best practices of industry leaders and what you can learn from them and apply within your plant. By participating in the Sigma Xi conference, we look forward to taking these same best practices to the scientific community to give them a look at challenges faced by the industry and solutions developed within plants.

In doing so, we hope to bring about “Aha Moments” in the minds of these researchers—in which the scientists see a connection between in-plant realities and their own specific perspectives and expertise. We hope to challenge them to focus on science-based solutions to food quality and food safety, to continually raise the bar by easing the way to best practices and help today’s best practices become tomorrow’s industry standards.

And we hope to help reduce the mindset of science vs. regulation to build better systems through science-based regulation.

To wrap back to my opening questions, we’d love to hear your thoughts: What is of most interest to you in QA? Where would you like to see stronger (or lesser) focus? Email me at

The author is Managing Editor of QA magazine. She can be reached at