Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention’s (CFI) Barbara Kowalcyk Awarded LennonOno Grant For Peace


Will Travel To Iceland in October To Accept Award from Yoko Ono


GROVE CITY, PA, August 26, 2010 – Yoko Ono announced that she will honor CFI’s Barbara Kowalcyk in October with the prestigious LennonOno Grant For Peace. Ono established the biannual award in 2002 to honor John Lennon’s dedication to peace and his commitment to human rights.


“I am deeply honored that my work in food safety is being recognized by Yoko Ono,” said Kowalcyk, CFI’s co-founder and Director of Food Safety. “More importantly, this award focuses international attention on the fundamental importance of food safety to a healthy civil society in the United States and globally. Recent events, including this summer’s massive egg recall, and the global nature of our food supply highlight the need for a new approach that integrates human, animal and environmental health to provide a more holistic and sustainable approach to food and food safety.”


“Following the death of my son Kevin in 2001 from an E. coli O157:H7 infection, my family has worked hard to channel our grief into advocating for this new approach, in hopes that it will prevent this kind of tragedy from happening to others. Founding the Center for Foodborne Illness ( has enabled us to move forward – through research, education, advocacy and service – in developing new analytical insights and identifying science-based solutions that will help protect public health and meet the food challenges of the 21st Century. On behalf of all the families who have been impacted by foodborne illness and all those working to improve food safety, I would like to thank Ms. Ono for recognizing the vital role that food and food safety play in global health and world peace.”


Kowalcyk will receive the award in Iceland on October 9, the date that would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday. Kowalcyk will join Ono to light the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER that will remain aglow until December 8, the anniversary of Lennon’s death.


Kowalcyk, who was featured in the 2009 documentary Food Inc., is pursuing a doctorate in Environmental Health with a focus in Epidemiology/Biostatistics at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and recently completed a fellowship in UC’s Molecular Epidemiology in Children’s Environmental Health Training Program. She is also a member of the National Academies of Science (NAS) Standing Committee on the Use of Public Health Data in FSIS Food Safety Programs, and served as one of the authors of the recent NAS report, Enhancing Food Safety: the Role of the Food and Drug Administration. Kowalcyk holds a master’s degree in applied statistics and, prior to her involvement in food safety, spent ten years working in clinical research as a biostatistician.


For more information contact:

Laura Trivers

(301) 512-4442