Lab Canada

Leading scientist helps launch Chair in Food Safety

Montreal, QC – A new Chair in Food Safety is being launched at McGill University, which the university says is the first of its kind in Canada.

The Ian and Jayne Munro Chair in Food Safety has been kickstarted with a $1.5-million gift from leading food safety researcher and McGill graduate Dr Ian C Munro, and his wife Jayne Munro, along with funding of $500,000 from the university. A further $1 million will be raised to ensure the chair will be endowed in perpetuity.

Based in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the chair will lead McGill’s newly established Food Safety and Quality Program (FSQP), an interdisciplinary teaching and research initiative. The FSQP will undertake collaborative research, offer undergraduate and graduate teaching programs, and provide the independent, third-party expertise needed for the Canadian food industry to address the complex scientific, legal and policy issues of global food safety. The appointment of the first chair holder, a world-renowned scientist, is expected within the coming year.

“The Ian and Jayne Munro Chair in Food Safety will be the cornerstone of an internationally recognized program in food safety and quality here at McGill,” said Heather Munroe-Blum, principal and vice-chancellor.

Currently executive vice-president and senior scientific consultant of Cantox Health Sciences International in Mississauga, Dr Munro has devoted his career to identifying and controlling toxic constituents in food. He explained that the FSQP will serve as an arms-length scientific authority that will take advantage of McGill’s strengths across multiple areas – agricultural and environmental sciences, law, management, medicine and science. The FSQP will also conduct joint research initiatives with the Canadian food industry.

“Our industry partners have played a pivotal role in the creation of this new program,” said Dr Chandra A. Madramootoo, dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “The reality is that food-safety issues have been with us for decades. No one can foretell when the next outbreak will be, and our food comes from so many sources.”