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Well-known member
Feb 13, 2005
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Lawmakers say a single national food safety agency will be more effective in protecting the public.

Under the current federal structure, food safety is regulated by two not-so-similar agencies – USDA, which regulates the safety of red meat and poultry, and the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees all other food. The two agencies operate under two different staffs, authorities, budgets, and agenda. For example, a federal inspector must be present at every USDA-registered meat processing plant in order for the plant to operate. At non-meat food- processing, FDA inspections are conducted on a routine schedule. Also, HACCP is not mandated at non-meat food plants, but are at meat processing facilities.

The two-agency structure may change. This week Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut) introduced the Safe Food Act of 2005, which, if passed and signed into law, may better protect consumers from foodborne illness by consolidating the current fragmented and overlapping food-safety system, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The bill would establish a comprehensive program to protect public health while also bolstering consumer confidence in the safety of the food supply.

"Our federal food-safety system is nearly 100 years old," CSPI food safety director Caroline Smith DeWaal, said in a release. "It was never designed to manage modern hazards like E. coli O157:H7 or new concerns like mad cow disease, genetically modified foods, or bioterrorism."

The Safe Food Act of 2005 would consolidate the activities of various federal agencies—including USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, and the Commerce Department's National Marine Fisheries Service -- each responsible for overseeing a defined and limited portion of the nation's food supply.

"The U.S., with its 'horse and buggy' food laws, is falling behind many other nations when it comes to food safety." DeWaal believes. "The Safe Food Act represents a modern science-based approach to food regulation."

Web posted: April 7, 2005
Category: Food Safety,Legislation and Regulation
Domenick Castaldo, Ph.D.
reader 2, what do you mean by "stove pipe groups". Haven't heard that term before.

BTW, does anyone know which groups have been fighting for years to remove any food safety from USDA and either create yet another government bureaucracy, or make FDA another stand-alone dept.? I can't recall, but know it has been attempted for many years.

One thing I'm quite sure of is that the attitude will be that producers will be considered greedy and unwilling to provide safe products without being forced to do so, if past history of food activist groups is indicative of direction such a regulatory agency would be forced to take.

"The U.S., with its 'horse and buggy' food laws, is falling behind many other nations when it comes to food safety." DeWaal believes. "The Safe Food Act represents a modern science-based approach to food regulation."

In the face of a rapidly concentrating livestock industry, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today requested a full account of how thoroughly and effectively the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is carrying out its responsibilities under the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921

:???: :???:
reader (the Second) said:
Stove pipe means separate groups or systems that should interoperate.

I was interested in reading how many separate parts of the Govt handled food safety (Coast Guard, FDA, USDA ...).

I know people find it ironic that the FOOD and Drug Admininstration monitors animal feed but the USDA monitors food that is animal based.

That reader has been a question for sometime-- that along with the fact that FDA says Canadian drugs are unsafe ( much of which is manufactured in the US) , but USDA says that Canadian untested or uninspected beef is safe makes the whole thing a political joke.... :?

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