CAFFRE staff and business partners tasting tomato soy juice with Secretary Vilsack

Ag Secretary Vilsack visits Ohio State, highlights cancer-fighting research

A group of agricultural researchers at Ohio State University may be finding ways to help fight cancer. They shared their work with U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack during his visit to Ohio State University this week.

“Many people do not understand the contributions to human health that agricultural research makes,” said Vilsack. “But here at Ohio State, there are many vivid examples showcasing the essential role agricultural research plays in solving some of the world’s most pressing health problems, all while building and revitalizing rural America.”

Researchers at OSU’s Center for Advanced Functional Foods Research and Entrepreneurship recently used a $1,275,000 USDA grant to develop a soy-fortified tomato juice that could potentially benefit prostate cancer patients. The center also is conducting clinical trials to study the impact of raspberries and a soy bread on certain cancers.

USDA partners with Ohio State on a variety of food and agricultural research, providing an important investment in and beyond the Columbus community. Ohio State currently has 67 active research and integrated grants competitively awarded through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, funded at more than $28.5 million.

Ohio State’s business partners from Abbott Laboratories, Hirzel Canning Company and others joined Vilsack to discuss how the research is making its way from crops to the clinic to the consumer.

“Preventing and curing the effects of diseases and developing products like tomato juice, raspberry treats and bread that will essentially make people happier and healthier, this is an extraordinary story,” Vilsack said. “It’s an extraordinary seal of approval for the land grant university system and for the research component of the land grant university system. It underscores the significance and importance of Congress continuing to see ag research in the same way they see healthcare research.”

Vilsack also spoke to OSU faculty and industry partners about the 2012 Farm Bill.

“When you look at the food, farm and jobs bill that the Senate passed recently, it is a great start. It makes a significant commitment to the safety net for producers, clearly supports trade, and has a strong research title that gives us a new opportunity to leverage resources,” he said. “It makes a true commitment to horticulture and organic production and this global regional food system movement. It helps with rural development programs to encourage more bio-based products.”


Watch a video of Vilsack speaking at OSU

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Callie Wells 

Callie Wells is the director of digital communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.

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