The IFSH Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) Initiative held its second symposium on WGS for the food industry on May 22 and 23 at the Chicago Marriott Southwest, Burr Ridge. The WGS Initiative was organized primarily to explain current governmental monitoring and regulatory processes connected with WGS. The WGS Initiative also provided a platform for industry practitioners to share and exchange their knowledge and experience with WGS, and also to discover and discuss problems associated with WGS implementation. Lastly, the WGS Initiative explored solutions designed to help industry transition from older to newer technologies.
The attendees represented three governmental agencies, several universities, and more than 60 companies, most of which were from the food industry. Prominent speakers from the FDA, CDC, USDA/FSIS, and the food industry presented their work and addressed the concerns of the participants. On the second day of the symposium, a panel of experts from the governmental agencies, composed of several speakers and a number of distinguished invited guests, answered questions from the participants. Additionally, a panel of industry experts, including individuals at the forefront of experimenting and implementing WGS, stirred up engaging discussions centered around what can and should be done to mitigate industry challenges during the transition from older to newer technologies.