T.F.A.H. report calls for major food safety reform
of Article: http://www.meatnews.com/feature_stories.asp?ArticleID=101131
(MEATPOULTRY.com, March 27,
by MEAT&POULTRY Staff
WASHINGTON — Trust
for America’s Health (T.F.A.H.), a group that receives funding from the
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, on March 25 issued a report
"Keeping America’s Food Safe: A Blueprint for Fixing the Food
Safety System at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services"
that examines what it describes as "problems with the fragmented
and antiquated current system."
"Our food safety
system is plagued with problems, and it’s leading to millions of
Americans becoming needlessly sick each year," said Dr. Jeff Levi,
executive director of the T.F.A.H. "The system is outdated and
unable to effectively deal with today’s threats. Its current structure
actually prevents the kind of coordinated, focused effort that
Americans need more than ever and have a right to expect."
by the group include the immediate consolidation of food safety
leadership within the Food and Drug Administration as well as the
creation of a separate Food Safety Administration within the H.H.S.
According to the
T.F.A.H. report, no F.D.A. official whose full-time job is food safety
has line authority over all food safety functions, a problem that may
be rectified through efforts by the Obama administration to consolidate
leadership within F.D.A. and creation of a separate Food Safety
Administration. Other problems identified in the report were inadequate
technologies and inspection practices, inadequate staffing and
resources and inadequate inspection of imports.
recommendations, the T.F.A.H. suggested increasing and aligning
resources with the highest risk threats; immediately establishing a
deputy commissioner at the F.D.A. with line authority over all food
safety programs; and modernizing the mandate and legal authority of the
H.H.S. Secretary to prevent illness, which would include enforcing the
responsibility of food companies to implement modern preventive
controls and meet government-established food safety performance
needs to be a priority on the prevention menu," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey,
president and chief executive officer of the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation. "We shouldn’t have to worry about our children getting
sick from their school lunch or from a family meal at a restaurant. And
we shouldn’t have to wait until people become sick to learn about food
safety problems. We need modern, comprehensive ways of preventing and
detecting problems before food gets to the table."
The full report is
available on the T.F.A.H.’s web site at www.healthyamericans.org.
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