Manufacturers Association Gathers Scientific Experts to Tackle Food
of Article: http://www.gmabrands.com/news/docs/NewsRelease.cfm?DocID=1925
April 14, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. -
As part of its ongoing effort to improve the safety and security of the
nation’s food supply, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today
gathered over 200 of the industry’s top scientists and quality assurance
experts to assess its current food safety practices, share successful
practices and develop a comprehensive plan for preventing food-related
government oversight is important, the primary responsibility for product
safety rests squarely on the shoulders of those companies that make
consumer packaged goods,” said Pamela Bailey, GMA president and CEO. “As
part of our long-standing focus on product safety, GMA has convened top
experts from the food and beverage industry, academia and government to
discuss and assess recent events and to make recommendations for
improving our nation’s food safety net.”
During her opening
remarks at the GMA Science Forum in Arlington, Virginia, Ms. Bailey
briefed attendees on the association’s legislative food safety proposal
that includes the following provisions:
Every food importer should have to
document the food safety measures employed by their suppliers.
FDA should require every food
manufacturer to have a food safety plan in place that identifies and
mitigates the risk of contamination.
Congress should give FDA the power to
establish federal safety standards for certain fruits and vegetables.
Provide FDA with mandatory recall
authority when companies fail to recall products on a voluntary basis.
Increase FDA funding to provide the
agency with the funds it needs to hire more food safety experts and
improve its laboratory and information technology capabilities.
In advance of the
Science Forum, GMA conducted a survey of attendees to quantify industry
expert attitudes on food safety. According to the survey results of the
Virtually 100 percent of industry
scientists who responded agree that food and beverage manufacturers are
responsible for producing safe products and that the industry must be
committed to modernizing, strengthening and improving the nation’s food
90 percent agree that FDA must be given
increased funding and new authorities to prevent contamination of the
90 percent agree that, in addition to
the food safety practices, testing and procedures utilized by food
manufacturers, the modernization of our food safety laws and standards is
critical to improving America’s food safety net.
86 percent agree that FDA should
require every food manufacturer to adopt and regularly update a food
88 percent agree that food importers
should be required by the FDA to document the steps they are taking to
police their foreign suppliers.
98 percent agree that the FDA should be
allowed to set federal standards for fresh fruits and vegetables.
80 percent agree that the FDA should be
given mandatory recall authority when a company does not comply with a
voluntary recall request.
“These results not
only show that the industry experts who are on the front lines of food
safety hold themselves accountable for producing safe products, but that
they also see strong government oversight as a critical component of food
“Food and beverage
companies are stepping up their own food safety efforts and GMA is
working with Congress and the Obama Administration to enact food safety
modernization legislation as soon as possible so that we can prevent
problems before they occur and bolster consumer confidence in the safety
and security of the food supply,” concluded Ms. Bailey.