FDA asked to get involved in blockchain for food handling

Food and Drug Administration

In an interesting development in business blockchain analysis, a company called the Information Services Group (ISG) that works on technology research and consulting is asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to weigh in on the use of blockchain for food safety.

The venue, according to Cointelegraph reporting today, was an FDA public meeting in which stakeholders discussed how to use artificial intelligence and blockchain initiatives to improve food and beverage supply chains.

Announced by the FDA Commissioner in April, the conference provided insight into how companies like IBM, Nestlé and others are considering the use of blockchain in this industry, in partnership with tech vendors like Oracle.

According to Helen Partz’s reporting, Alex Manders, ISG head of blockchain solutions, suggested many of the most important barriers to a greater blockchain adoption in food and beverage are “non-technical” and have to do with question marks surrounding “vendor and collaboration models.”

A grant program administered by the FDA, Manders said, would be helpful in solving some of these problems.

As companies like IBM and others work to create cold chain logistics and supply chain systems that utilize blockchain’s immutable ledger, there are profound questions in play about exactly how blockchain and cryptocurrencies will revolutionize business in the 21st century.

Should a regulator like the FDA really have a significant role in building blockchain awareness? To some, it would seem that the agency doesn’t really have the necessary qualifications – but in the context of public and private partnerships working on AI and blockchain, it may be useful for the FDA to be involved.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to protect our nation’s drug supply, today, we’re giving industry an opportunity to test new technologies that can help spur greater accountability for participants in the supply chain and improve our ability to trace prescription drugs at every point in the distribution chain.” FDA Commissioner Gottleib said earlier this year, according to reporting by LedgerInsights.