"Imported food and drugs in the U.S. have tripled in the past decade, making it tougher on regulators to police the safety of products that Americans consume, the Institute of Medicine said.
About 85 percent of the seafood Americans buy, 39 percent of fruit and nuts and 18 percent of vegetables come from abroad, according to a report today by the institute, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences that helps the government make health decisions. About 80 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients and 40 percent of finished drugs originate in nations outside the U.S.
The health of Americans are linked to regulators worldwide, a point made in 2007 and 2008 when dogs and cats were stricken by tainted pet food and people died from contamination in Baxter International Inc. (BAX)’s blood thinner heparin. The ingredients in both incidents came from China. The Food and Drug Administration needs to partner with regulators abroad to help bring them up to speed to protect Americans, the institute wrote."
Dana Dziadul has been fighting since she was 3 years old, but don’t bother telling her mother. First, Dana, now 16, was fighting for her life after getting debilitatingly ill from bad cantaloupe she ate when she was 3. Now, she’s fighting to ensure that other children don’t suffer the same fate that befell her – or a worse one.More info
Victims of foodborne illness from 10 states are visiting Capitol Hill the week of January 27, asking their members of Congress to support the full funding and implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The advocates include children and adults who were sickened by foods they ate as well as sons and daughters who lost beloved parents to infections caused by contaminated products.More info
In January 2011, President Barack Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law, signaling the first major update to our nation’s food safety oversight framework since the Great Depression. Despite widespread support for the legislation and its implementation, the Obama administration still has not issued all of the proposed rules under FSMA.More info
Two respected consumer groups have issued reports criticizing the government’s failure to make sure the US poultry supply is safe. One group did a test of chicken bought in grocery stores across America and got unsettling results.More info
A consumer group report released Thursday criticized the U.S Department of Agriculture's response to salmonella outbreaks traced to Foster Farms, saying the agency has not done enough to protect public health. The report by the Pew Charitable Trusts says federal regulations and policies are inadequate to prevent salmonella outbreaks stemming from chicken.More info
People infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, a fever and abdominal cramps that usually last for four to seven days. The dangerous bacteria is found in the food we eat, usually chicken, beef or eggs that have been contaminated with animal feces. And a new report from Pew Charitable Trusts says the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) isn't doing enough to keep our food Salmonella-free.More info
Americans eat more chicken than any other meat. Yet when it comes to food safety, poultry is fraught with risks that consumer groups say aren’t being fully addressed by producers and federal inspectors.That’s the view of two reports released Thursday.More info
Since 2012, there have been two multi-state outbreaks of Salmonella tied to Foster Farms chicken – the second of which is still ongoing. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 523 people in 29 states and Puerto Rico have been sickened in total. And, because of the underdiagnosis of Salmonella, as many as 15,000 more could have been infected.More info
Recent salmonella outbreaks that sickened at least 523 people and sent dozens to the hospital underscore “serious weaknesses” in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s oversight of poultry plants, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Charitable Trusts, which also criticized the government’s failure to push more aggressively for recalls of contaminated meat.More info