Oregon State University has named David Stone, a public health toxicologist and communications expert, as the new director of its Food Innovation Center in Portland, Oregon.

David Stone, courtesy Stephen Ward, OSU

David Stone

Stone, a faculty member in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and current director of the National Pesticide Information Center, will start his new job April 1. He succeeds Michael Morrissey, who is retiring after leading the center for nine years.

The center is one of a dozen agricultural research centers across Oregon, but the only one located in a big city. The center offers technical solutions and consultation in product development and marketing, sensory testing and processing and packaging technologies.

Stone said one of his priorities will be to develop new capabilities and education programs to meet tougher food-safety mandates contained in the Food Safety Modernization Act. The law specifies new standards and practices for food growers, processors and sellers.

“It’s a chain of responsibility that emphasizes prevention,” Stone said in a statement. “Part of my job as director will be to ensure the center is current and relevant with the new law and to educate producers, processors and others about it.”

The law also authorized funding for new regional centers for food safety training and education at OSU and four other universities. Additional funding from the state will support a new food safety faculty member for the Food Innovation Center.

Stone said the center hopes to fill that position by the fall.