Jim Gorny, who recently left the Food and Drug Administration to join the staff of the Produce Marketing Association, is now chairman of the technical committee for the Center for Produce Safety.
Steve Patricio, chairman of the center’s board of directors, said in a news release that Gorny is succeeding Bob Whitaker as chairman of the technical committee. Gorny will continue as PMA’s vice president of food safety and technology, but half of his time will be spent in his role with the Center for Produce Safety.
Whitaker is PMA’s chief science and technology and was chairman of the technical committee at the center since 2008. He will retain his seat on the center’s board of directors.
Gorny is well-suited to take over the technical committee, Patricio said in the release, partly because he has served on the committee since the center was founded at the University of California-Davis in 2007. Gorny and Whitaker have worked as colleagues in the field of food safety science for 20 years.
“The transition allows CPS to continue to benefit from Gorny’s extensive knowledge of food safety, while providing Whitaker the opportunity to dedicate more time identifying and translating existing and emerging science and technology into useable industry solutions for PMA members,” according to the release.
Bonnie Fernandez-Feneroli, executive director of the Center for Produce Safety, said in the release that Gorny will work with herself and the technical committee to identify and fund produce safety research that has the potential for the greatest impact on the fresh produce industry.
Under Whitaker’s tenure as technical committee chairman, the center established a framework to seek out and fund research projects. So far the center has awarded more than $10.6 million to fund 70 research projects at 26 institutions in 17 states on food safety related to fresh produce.
“Bob has done a tremendous job not only in helping to get CPS’s research grant program up and running, but also in helping us concentrate our limited resources on research areas needed most,” said Fernandez-Fenaroli in the news release.