Blockchain on the Menu for FDA

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  • The FDA is considering implementing blockchain technology to improve food safety
  • The agency cites blockchain as one of the key technologies to help increase traceability of food
  • The coronavirus pandemic has ramped up the need for such tracking services

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering implementing blockchain technology to improve food safety. In a new report entitled ‘New Era of Smarter Food Safety – FDA’s Blueprint for the Future’, the agency states that the world is “in the midst of a food revolution” which is seeing the food system becoming “increasingly digitized”. This, they say, means that “modern times require modern approaches”, with the report highlighting that blockchain technology can play a big part in the future of food over the next decade.

Blockchain Adoption Driven by Coronavirus Pandemic

In the report, the FDA states that the lessons learnt from the coronavirus pandemic, which is believed to have centred around a wet food market in Wuhan, China, has highlighted the need for “more real-time, data-driven, nimble approaches to help ensure a strong and resilient food system”. In a line that essentially sums up the benefits of blockchain technology in one hit, they also add that, “The New Era of Smarter Food Safety represents a new approach to food safety, leveraging technology and other tools to create a safer and more digital, traceable food system.”

Food Traceability Already Underway

Food traceability is of course one of the main areas where blockchain technology has already been influential in vastly improving and streamlining the food supply chain – global names such as Mastercard and IBM have had their hands in the blockchain food trough for some months, which companies like VeChain have entire sections of the company dedicated to it.

To this end, the FDA acknowledges the potential of blockchain alongside other related technologies in meeting their goals for the next ten years:

Advances in artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, sensor technologies, and blockchain are improving business processes. New digital technologies offer the potential to help us predict and prevent food safety problems and better detect and respond to problems when they do occur.

With huge agencies such as the FDA now firmly looking at blockchain technology as a potential tool to help improve the quality and safety of food on the next decade, we have yet more evidence that the systems that have quietly been built while the cryptocurrency markets grab all the headlines could be the real difference-makers in the years to come.