I posted a request for ideas to present while I am in Washington D.C. to the Foodsafe listserve. Foodsafe is an industry-supported discussion group to connect those interested in food safety to each other, and to information. The sender is responsible for content. For archives or to unsubscribe from the list, go to http://www.foodsafetyweb.info/foodsafe. For questions or problems, contact the list owner at FOODSAFE-request@LISTS.FOODSAFETYWEB.INFO.
Here were some ideas:
1. Don’t let the Congress get bogged down in the single food safety agency quagmire. However, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the National Academy of Sciences have supported it.
2. Place produce (and animal) growing under some food authority (e.g., USDA-APHIS).
3. Make HACCP mandatory for the produce processing industry.
4. Require FDA Risk Assessment for E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella in produce.
5. Require FDA surveillance of produce with associated recalls.
6. Encourage Congress to seek mandatory post-processing treatment of fresh produce that has been implicated in outbreaks. This could be any effective treatment – irradiation, chemicals, electrolyzed water, etc. Don’t try to make it produce-wide, as regulating before a proven problem is tough and widens the opposition.
7. Get money for research into ways of protecting growing crops from contamination caused by wild animals (birds, deer) or nearby livestock (cattle, hogs, chickens).
8. Get money for research that addresses item #6 above. We need to get the effective interventions rapidly approved for use.
9. The FDA is both significantly under funded in the food area and in the midst of a terrible “brain drain.” Congress needs to fully fund an expansion of FDA’s food activities and urge the Commissioner to try to keep what’s left of the Agency’s institutional knowledge.
10. Avoid writing a law that would allow defendants to argue Federal Preemption – make sure they preserve the private right of action.
11. That they require all those who import food products into the US to have insurance and to consent to jurisdiction of US courts and to accept service of process by certified mail.
12. Traceability in the food supply is something that Congress could and should mandate.
Any other ideas? Comments?