FDA takes a new look at blockchain

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FDA

Joshua Mapperson reports today at Cointelegraph that the FDA is looking at a new pilot program or blueprint for blockchain adoption.

“The United States Food and Drug Administration released a blueprint and pilot study for food safety, highlighting blockchain as a viable option for some of the identified challenges,” Mapperson writes. “The blueprint, released earlier this week, breaks down some of the challenges facing food distribution throughout the country and looks at how smart technologies could solve them.”

As Mapperson points out, the precursors to this theoretical future government blockchain initiative include IBM and Walmart’s FoodTrust program that currently uses blockchain to track various metrics around delivered food perishable food products. IBM describes the project this way:

“Food Trust is the only network of its kind to connect participants across the food supply through a permissioned, permanent and shared record of food system data. The result is a customizable suite of solutions that can increase food safety and freshness, unlock supply chain efficiencies, minimize waste, enhance your brand’s reputation, and contribute directly to your bottom line.”

Then there’s the private sector where companies like BeefChain innovate for agencies like USDA. BeefChain got its Process Verified Program designation from the agency in April of 2019 and is able to audit feedlots to check for prohibited use of hormones and other factors.

“BeefChain desires to add clarity to the beef market through digital identity and traceability of cattle,” writes Benjamin Pirus at Forbes, chronicling the value proposition around this particular kind of blockchain venture. “Raising cattle more naturally on an open range, with proper food, is expensive … additionally, it can be difficult to ensure these animals are not mixed in with animals that were raised in less desirable conditions. Therefore, ranchers often are not paid in proper proportion to the work they put into raising cattle in this way.”

Will the U.S. Food and Drug Administration join the bandwagon and benefit from these kinds of proven blockchain transparency? The result could have any number of effects on the crypto market in 2020 and beyond.

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