"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."
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 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
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
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