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Wilmington, Delaware, February 14, 2008

DuPont Qualicon and USDA Agricultural Research Service to Collaborate on New Test for E. coli O157:H7

DuPont Qualicon will collaborate with the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) at Clay Center, Neb., on developing a new test for detecting E. coli O157:H7 in beef and trim.   After responding to an ARS request for proposals on collaboration, DuPont Qualicon and USMARC entered into a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA).

USMARC is operated by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the chief scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Our mission is to develop scientific information and new technology to solve high priority problems for the U.S. beef, sheep and swine industries," said Mohammad Koohmaraie, USMARC director. "In the case of E. coli O157:H7 detection, we're looking at collaborative ways to quickly develop a new test."

“We are very pleased to be working with Dr. Koohmaraie and his team of experts at USMARC,” said Ravi Ramadhar, business development director for DuPont Qualicon. “Our long history of commitment to the meat industry with applications of the best science available fits well with USMARC goals for a better E. coli O157:H7 test.”

E. coli O157:H7 is a foodborne pathogen usually associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef. Even in low concentrations, it can cause severe illness, sometimes leading to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and kidney failure in at-risk populations. After several years of declining incidence, 2007 saw a resurgence with more than 30 million pounds of ground beef recalled due to possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company.  Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere.  Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.