In the News
Release Food Safety Rules -- Nearly 35,000 Signatures, One Message, Delivered to White House
On Tuesday, December 11, The Pew Charitable Trusts delivered a petition signed by nearly 35,000 Americans to the White House, urging President Obama to release the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules.
The first major update to the nation’s food safety system since the Great Depression, FSMA signaled a much needed shift in FDA’s approach from reaction to prevention.
Once fully implemented, the law is designed to reduce the number of people put needlessly at risk because of foodborne illness. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year an estimated 48 million foodborne illnesses, 127,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths result from food contamination. These sometimes life-threatening illnesses are estimated to total more than $70 billion a year in health-related costs.
Since the law was signed by the president, there have been 15 reported multistate outbreaks linked to FDA-regulated products. The deadliest from Salmonella linked to cantaloupe, killed 33, the third-largest food-related death toll ever in U.S. history.
Meanwhile, key provisions of the law, designed to prevent outbreaks such as these, are stuck in regulatory limbo while Americans continue to get sick from preventable foodborne diseases.
Download the letter (PDF)
Repeated food safety problems at Elsmere's iconic Serpe & Sons Bakery and far worse health violations discovered at the shuttered Roos Foods cheese plant in Kenton are the latest examples of a dysfunctional national food inspection program, experts say. More info
The Pew Charitable Trusts released a report that examines how two recent outbreaks of foodborne salmonella infections exemplify flaws in the federal food safety program. The report, “Weaknesses in FSIS’s Salmonella Regulation,” also makes seven recommendations to improve the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s control of salmonella in poultry and strengthen its response to outbreaks caused by these bacteria. More info
All his life, Paul Schwarz had been active and healthy. When his family imagined the various ways that the decorated veteran of World War II might eventually die, they never imagined that the cause would be a piece of cantaloupe. More info
Consumers across the United States are demanding meat and poultry raised without antibiotics—and large producers, restaurants, and other institutions are listening. Following is a list of some leading companies offering responsibly produced food. More info
In January 2011, President Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law, signaling the first major update to our nation’s food safety framework since the Great Depression. Despite bipartisan support, and a coalition of food safety advocates and industry representatives working for its enactment, the administration still has not issued the proposed rules needed to begin implementing this law. This interactive graphic represents the most widespread multistate foodborne illness outbreaks linked to FDA-regulated products since FSMA was enacted
, which constitute
a small fraction of total foodborne illnesses reported during that period. 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
At age 3, Dana Dziadul of Wake Forest, NC, fell gravely ill after eating imported cantaloupe tainted with Salmonella. As her mom explains in this video, Dana continues to experience health consequences more than a decade later. More info
As Congress and the President completed the farm bill in February, victims of foodborne illness and their families wrote letters to the editor applauding federal leaders for leaving out proposals that threatened to undo parts of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. More info
On January 28-30, 2014, foodborne illness victims from 11 states visited Capitol Hill, asking their members of Congress to support the full funding and implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). More info
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
Frustrated parents gathered on Capitol Hill demanding safer food Wednesday. Jacqueline Fell talked with parents who had to watch their kids get sick from food that may very well be sitting in your refrigerator right now. More info
A Portland cop turned advocate is back in the U.S. capital this week, urging Congress to support funding for a crackdown on food safety. Officer Peter Hurley has met with two Oregon lawmakers, and has another meeting on Thursday. So far, the reaction has been mixed, Hurley said. More info
Merrill Behnke, of Bellevue, WA, was a healthy and proud new mom when a listeria infection caused by imported ricotta salata cheese put her in the hospital for 16 days. She describes the physical and emotional toll of her illness in this video. 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
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