The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued the "Second Biennial Report to Congress on the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN)" as required under Section 202(b) of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Administered by FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), "FERN is an integrated, secure laboratory system for federal, state, and local government agencies engaged in food safety and food defense activities" responsible for detecting, identifying and responding to situations involving "biological, chemical, or radiological contamination of food."

Among other successes, FDA reports that FERN "has been vital in responding to major outbreaks of foodborne disease attributed to many products, including spinach, pet food, and peanut butter." The network has also provided surge capacity for federal and state responses to both natural and industrial emergencies, in addition to handling large-scale, non-emergency projects, such as arsenic testing in fruit juices and rice products, and conducting targeted surveillance testing for specific events.