This week, Food Safety News is acknowledging leaders who help keep our food supply safe.  Today we celebrate non-government organizations.  Of course, no list is ever complete so if you think we’ve forgotten someone, please leave us a note in the comments. Non-Government organizations bring together groups of like-minded people to focus on food safety issues at hand.  Groups of epidemiologists, environmental health professionals, and food industry leaders are able to collaborate to solve food safety issues through their participation in non-government organizations.  Here is a list of organizations that are bringing people together to strengthen our food supply’s safety-net. Association of Food and Drug Officials The Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) was established in 1896 to foster uniformity in the adoption and enforcement of safety laws, rules and regulations as they apply to science-based foods, drugs, medical devices and cosmetics.   AFDO helps facilitate the creation of uniform laws, regulations, and guidelines that result in more efficient regulation and less confusion. Their role in establishing a broad base of support for new approaches has made AFDO a recognized voice in determining the regulatory playing field of the future. Association of Public Health Laboratories The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) is the national nonprofit representing governmental laboratories that monitor and detect public health threats, ranging from lead contamination in drinking water to metabolic and genetic conditions in newborns.  Laboratories in public health serve as laboratory first responders, protecting the public from diseases and environmental health hazards. Avian influenza, anthrax, contaminated water and E. coli have all been the subject of their investigations. Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) is an organization of member states and territories representing public health epidemiologists.  The organization’s mission is to promote effective use of epidemiologic data to guide public health public health practice and improve public health; support effective public health surveillance and epidemiologic practice through training, capacity development and peer consultation; develop standards for practice; and advocate for resources and scientifically based policy. International Association for Food Protection The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) was founded to provide information and expertise surrounding the latest food safety challenges and solutions to scientists, researchers, and specialists from around the world.  The organization publishes two food safety journals providing scientific articles and information, Journal of Food Protection and Food Protection Trends. International Food Protection Training Institute The International Food Protection Training Institute was formed to provide career-spanning, standards-based training for food protection professionals and aims to build the training infrastructure for a national integrated food safety system.  The institute is made possible through collaboration between the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Western Michigan University, and the Global Food Protection Institute. National Environmental Health Association The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) was created to establish a standard of excellence for environmental health specialists and sanitarians. This standard, which has come to be known as the Registered Environmental Health Specialist or Registered Sanitarian credential, signifies that an environmental health professional has mastered a body of knowledge (which is verified through the passing of an examination), and has acquired sufficient experience, to satisfactorily perform work responsibilities in the environmental health field.  NEHA’s programs and services regularly address topics such as food safety and food defense. ___ See all of 2013’s Best of Food Safety in governmenteducation, consumer organizations, non-government organizations, the food industry and the news media.