In the past year, Mérieux NutriSciences has established a consulting partnership with George E. Dunaif Ph.D., DABT, CFS in order to better serve their clients in the area of food toxicology. In part one of this three-part series, we learn more about Dr. Dunaif and his background.
Can you speak a bit to your credentials and professional experience as a food industry toxicologist?
I have a Ph.D. degree from Cornell University in Toxicology with minors in pharmacology and pathology. In addition, I have a B.S. degree in Nutrition and Foods from the SUNY College at Buffalo and an M.S. degree in Human Nutrition with a minor in physiology from Iowa State University.
After graduate school, I spent almost 27 years as a toxicologist working for the Campbell Soup Company and attained the leadership role of Vice President-Global Food Safety. I next served in the leadership role of Vice President-Food Safety & Technical Service at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).
In 2014, I formed my own food safety consulting company and in July of 2019, I established a formal partnership with Mérieux NutriSciences. Altogether, I have over 35 years of food industry experience in a wide array of food safety, quality, lab supervision, nutrition, and regulatory compliance roles. I was also a co-chairperson of the Campbell Soup Company Corporate Crisis Management Team for several years.
What do DABT and CFS stand for and what value do they bring to your food safety consulting activities?
I am board-certified in General Toxicology. The acronym DABT means Diplomate-American Board of Toxicology. Board certification in toxicology is analogous to a physician being likewise board-certified in a specialty, for example as a board-certified oncologist. In the case of a DABT, this signifies that the individual has taken a rigorous qualifying exam and has subsequently successfully recertified every five years following initial board certification.
I was initially certified in 1989 and have maintained that status through 2024. It has been estimated that less than 10% of practicing toxicologists are board-certified in the USA. Toxicologists in various industries, academia, and government (local, state, and federal) have attained the extra distinction and highest standard of being board certified by the American Board of Toxicology based in Raleigh, NC.
The acronym CFS stands for Certified Food Scientist. The CFS is a certification that represents excellence in the area of Food Science. The International Food Science Certification Commission (IFSCC) that oversees the Institute of Food Technologist credentialing activities and program administers this rigorous certification process.
I was initially certified as a CFS in 2013 and recertified in 2018 through 2023. These two certifications are important because along with my education, training, and extensive experience, they help to assure my clients and the overall regulatory community that my expertise and skill are amongst the best in the field of food toxicology.