Half of Americans losing trust in food supply

Source of Article:  http://www.ift.org/news_bin/news/news_home.shtml

11/25/2008-According to a recent national food safety and labeling poll conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center, American consumers are concerned about food safety, and they want the government to inspect the food supply more frequently.

While 73% polled currently regard the overall food supply as safe, 48% said their confidence in the safety of the nation’s food supply is slipping. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspects domestic food production facilities once every five to 10 years, and foreign facilities less frequently. Two-thirds of respondents said the FDA should inspect domestic and foreign food-processing facilities at least once a month.

Additionally, eight in 10 consumers strongly agree that when food safety problems arise, the FDA should disclose to the public the location of retailers who sold the potentially harmful food, including fish, produce, and processed foods, as the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) is currently required to do for meat.

On Nov. 19, the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board approved standards that would allow organic fish farmers to use wild fish as part of their feed mix provided it did not exceed 25% of the total. Yet, 93% of Americans agree that fish labeled as organic should be produced by 100% organic feed.

Finally, while the FDA recently proposed allowing meat or milk products from cloned or genetically engineered animals to be sold without labels, 94% of those polled believe that meat and dairy products from cloned animals should be labeled as such.

As Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., Senior Scientist and Policy Analyst at Consumers Union explained, “The American public wants to know more about their food, where it comes from, how safe it is, and will vote with their dollars to support highly meaningful labels.”

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