Media Coverage

''FDA Begins Implementing Sweeping Food-Safety Law''


  • Jan 7, 2013
  • The Washington Post
  • Brady Dennis
  • Project: Food Safety

"The Obama administration moved ahead Friday with the first major overhaul of the nation’s food-safety system in more than 70 years, proposing tough new standards for fruit and vegetable producers and food manufacturers.

The long-awaited proposals by the Food and Drug Administration are part of a fundamental change aimed at preventing food-borne outbreaks — caused by everything from leafy greens to cantaloupes to peanut butter — rather than simply reacting to them. Every year, contaminated foods sicken an estimated 48 million Americans and kill 3,000."

...

"These rules “are the heart and soul of the law,” said Sandra Eskin, director of the Food Safety Campaign at the Pew Charitable Trusts. “These are the priorities. Everything else flows from them."

...

"The law gives the FDA broad new powers, including the ability to force companies to recall products and the authority to examine internal records at farms and food-production plants. It calls on the FDA to increase inspections, particularly at "high-risk" facilities prone to contamination, and to hire about 2,000 new inspectors.

Supporters had grown increasingly frustrated by repeated delays in the rule-writing process. Food safety experts, consumer groups, industry representatives, editorial boards and lawmakers on Capitol Hill took turns urging the Office of Management and Budget to release the rules.

Those calls grew louder after a 2011 outbreak of listeria traced to cantaloupe that left 33 people dead and led inspectors to unsanitary equipment at a processing plant in Colorado. In November, a salmonella outbreak that sickened 42 people in numerous states prompted the FDA to assert its new powers to temporarily halt production at the country’s largest organic peanut butter producer after finding numerous safety and sanitation problems."

...

"More proposed rules are expected to be issued soon, including ones that would require that imported foods comply with U.S. safety standards. The FDA also plans to propose rules involving the production of animal foods.

It could be years before the proposals become final regulations. The FDA will take comments on the proposals for four months and then probably make changes. And some farms will have two years or more to comply with the rules."

Full Article 

Date added:
Jan 7, 2013
Project:
Food Safety
Topic:
Food Safety
Related Expert:
Sandra Eskin

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