• “Share the Puck” – Valued Partner Award Given to Peter Whelan and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI)

    by John Spink • September 8, 2017 • Blog • 0 Comments

    While he was in the State of Michigan this August, we awarded the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) with our “Share the Puck” Valued Partner award.  Leading their team is Peter Whelan who is the Director of Audit and Investigations for FSAI. His leadership includes being the Irish advisor to the European Commission’s Food Integrity Project as well as the EU Food Fraud Network (a group of countries sharing information). He has very unique insight and experience in Food Fraud prevention, which includes a five year secondment to the post of Executive Chairman of the then newly established Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority. “As Director of Audit and Investigations in the FSAI, he is responsible for audits, Food Fraud investigations and the FSAI’s Quality Management System.” Among many other key contacts, we also recognize the support and engagement of FSAI CEO Pamela Byrne.

    MSU Presentation in Dublin at the FSAI and Interpol Conferences in Dublin in October

    Our collaboration continues with an MSU Food Fraud Initiative presentation at the October 4-5, 2017 FSAI conference “Safeguarding the Food Chain – Protecting Authenticity and Integrity.” Dr. Spink will chair the E-Commerce session and present “Unique Food Fraud Prevention Challenges in E-Commerce.” This builds upon previous work in China, as well as with counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Earlier in the week Dr. Spink will be presenting with Mr. Whelan at the Interpol Operation Opson annual meeting, also in Dublin. This is an especially unique opportunity for MSU since this conference is limited only to government agencies and speakers.

    Share the Puck Award

    Our MSU Food Fraud Initiative (FFI) recognizes key partners with our “Share the Puck” award.  In the sport of ice hockey this term means to work together to score a goal.  To efficiently and effectively advance Food Fraud research it has required – and will continue to require – that we all work together.  The collaboration has been from across academia and from the four corners of the globe. These hockey pucks are Michigan State University Big Ten College Hockey official game pucks, bearing both the team logo and the FFI Valued Partner award badge.

    Past award recipients include:

    • Queen’s University Belfast (Professor Chris Elliott),
    • China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (Dr. Yongning Wu, Chief Science Officer),
    • China FDA (Jinjing Zhang, Deputy Director General),
    • UK National Food Crime Unit (Any Morling, Director),
    • Danone — Food Safety Team (Frederic Rene, Chief Food Safety Officer),
    • Walmart — Food Safety Team (Paul Gallemore, Chief Compliance Officer – China), and
    • Mars Incorporated (Bob Baker, Global Head of Technical Food Safety Development).

    The Valued Partner award not only recognizes interaction but also accomplishment.  Peter and FSAI have been engaged in a range of activities including serving together on many conference agendas, on the EU Food Integrity Project, as well as co-authoring publications. We first met when I presented “Food Counterfeiting and Food Fraud Prevention” at the 2013 Interpol Intellectual Property Crime Conference.

    Journal Publication with Peter Whelan

    In addition, Peter was a co-author on a peer-reviewed, refereed scholarly journal article on “The role of the public private partnership in Food Fraud prevention — includes implementing the strategy.” This was published in the Scopus listed, very high impact factor Current Opinion in Food Science journal.

    “This paper outlines the steps necessary to begin a countrywide or industry-wide vulnerability assessment and the development of a Food Fraud Prevention Strategy. An efficient method utilizes the COSO accounting principles of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). The first stage is a pre-filter Food Fraud Initial Screening (FFIS) and the more detailed second stage is a Food Fraud Vulnerability Assessment (FFVA). A prevention strategy is the culmination of this effort.”


    Our MSU Food Fraud Initiative has a mission to “collaborate broadly and lead where efficient and appropriate.”  We strongly believe that through collaboration we will all achieve higher goals and greater achievements.  We also feel it is important to step back and take time to thank our colleagues… and also have some fun along the way.  As we are all facing many challenges of cutting a new path in a new research field, I personally have already received tremendous rewards from interacting with great colleagues on the journey.  I am truly grateful for colleagues like these.  When we “share the puck” we all have a higher potential to reach our goals.  JWS.

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