The Arkansas Public Health Laboratory (APHL) at the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has been an
active member of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Emergency Response Network (FERN)
since 2009. The APHL proposes to continue its participation as a part of the chemistry cooperative
agreement by providing readiness in support of food defense, increasing capability and capacity through
the application of new methodologies and expansion of current FERN methods, and being integrated with
FDA, state, and local laboratories to provide food safety and security.
The mission of the APHL is to protect Arkansans through quality laboratory science, leadership, and
innovation. As a member of the FERN cooperative agreement, the APHL is fulfilling its duty to the state
and proposes to continue to do so with the support of FERN.
The specific aims of this proposal are:
1) Maintain readiness for food defense.
2) Conduct surveillance of food commodities of interest.
3) Increase capability by implementing and validating new technologies and methodologies.
These aims align the state and FDA initiatives regarding food safety and security. Specifically, the APHL
proposes to meet these specific aims through the following FERN Tracks:
• Discipline B: Chemistry. Analytical Track 1: Food Defense.
• Discipline B: Chemistry. Analytical Track 2: Human Food Product Testing.
• Discipline B: Chemistry. Analytical Track 4: Chemistry Capability/Capacity Development.
The mutual reliance between the APHL and FDA serves both state and national interests by relying upon
an integrated food safety collaboration. The APHL proposes to continue this collaboration to surveil and
protect the local and national food supply.