Mars, a member of the private sector mechanism we resource (www.agrifood.net), is partnering with IBM to undertake a ground breaking effort on food safety. It is estimated 2 million people a year die in emerging areas due to food borne infections. In the U.S. alone, one in six people are affected by food-borne diseases each year, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations, 3,000 deaths, and $9 billion in medical costs. Another $75 billion worth of contaminated food is recalled and discarded annually.
Together a food company and a science company will conduct the largest-ever metagenomics study to categorize and understand micro-organisms and the factors that influence their activity in a normal, safe factory environment.