The FDA Needs to Provide Clear Guidelines on Blockchains, According to Researchers


While many people can only imagine what Bitcoin is, Blockchain is only part of what makes cryptocurrencies what they are, and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been urged to show interest in it.

FoodOnline recently reported that researchers have started to urge the FDA to investigate blockchain technology’s potential in food safety. The person in question was Alex Manders, the Head of Blockchain Solutions of the Information Services Group (ISG). ISG in itself is a tech advisory and research firm, based in Connecticut.

At a meeting held for the public, aptly named “A New Era of Smarter Food Safety,” Manders spoke up. He urged the FDA to start examining blockchain solutions, investment options, and vendors. He argued that they should help enterprises understand how to use blockchain to improve food safety, all across the supply chain.

ISG: Biggest Challenge is nontechnical

ISG considers the most critical challenge associated with blockchain’s overall adoption in the food and drink industry as something “nontechnical.” Instead, ISG believes ignorance to be the most significant cause of concern within the food industry. They explain that lack of understanding on existing blockchain infrastructures, things like collaboration models and vendors, would be the main problem. By extent, these challenges could include a simple lack of governance or industry framework.

ISG has suggested that the FDA should set up grants or funds for harvesters, farmers, retailers, and distributors that want to implement blockchain in a bid to make the food supply chain more efficient and transparent.

Current successes (And Failures)

While the FDA hasn’t done anything remarkable so far with blockchain, it doesn’t mean that companies haven’t already tried to make use of its distributed ledger technology. IBM, the global tech giant, had made an announcement about its new collaboration with Raw Seafoods. This announcement, coming last week, saw the Massachusetts-based food firm taking steps to digitize their scallop supply chain, sourced from the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery. They will do this by making use of the IBM Blockchain Platform to create an immutable ledger.

While Raw Seafoods is gaining success, Nestlé was seeing unexpected difficulties. While the Swiss food retailer is beloved across the globe, it seemed to be having issues with developing a blockchain. They had announced that their blockchain-based supply chain project was facing an unexpected amount of challenges along the way.

The organization is reevaluating its traditional business practices, in light of the unprecedented challenges compared to other digital innovation plans.

While some may want to deny it, the invention of blockchain-based technology is a massive milestone in the digital world. In time, centralized and decentralized networks will be equally common, if not favoring decentralized databases, due to the increase of security it brings.

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