I have a lot of food safety friends – some who will and will not admit it publicly.  Here is one of the best emails I received recently after Politico posted “The FDA’s Food Failure,” a 36-page investigation (Pulitzer Prize eligible) by Helena Bottemiller Evich that details the fact that food safety is not a high priority at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Here is just a sampling of what this one, unnamed food safety advocate, suggests:

  • Swiftly finalize remaining FSMA rules, including the rules on traceability and ag water.
  • Strengthen proposed safety standards for agricultural water, including mandatory water testing requirements and a requirement to treat water that is high-risk before using it in growing.
  • Swiftly develop standards for toxic metals in baby foods that are based on risks to infants, not industry concerns about sourcing.
  • Reform the food additives approval process to ensure new food additives are given adequate safety review.
  • Move FDA funding from agriculture committee to health committee and enhance funding for CFSAN
  • Enhance agency the agency’s food operations by re-organizing and centralize and streamline the agency’s operations, with direct accountability to the Commissioner.
  • Investigate the agency’s inspection practices to identify why the agency failed to detect the issues that contributed to the recent outbreak of Cronobacter in infant formula.
  • Enhance the agency’s capacity to solve outbreaks and require recalls.
  • Issue 10 year sodium reduction targets and develop accountability for industry that fails to meet those targets
  • Design a clear, mandatory, front-of-package labeling system to identify foods that are high in unhealthy nutrients

A new emailed comment:

Good Morning Bill

Read with interest you proposed FDA Manifesto I agree with all.

Let me add some suggestions

  1. Develop a SINGLE Federal Food Agency that has a 100% focus on FOOD not drugs, medical devices and tobacco. In most developed countries Food is regulated by a single Agency. This is not a novel idea and has been proposed numerous times. No one has the Political will to move forward.
  2. Have adequate funds appropriated so that the regulatory agency can conduct all facility inspections at a minimum yearly. Inspectors should be adequately trained and supervised. The program should be supervised by an independent third party entity such as a Government- industry partnership\

Side bar suggestion

The Food Service industry is regulated by a diverse number od Agencies,State,County City and any on else who wants to be a player. Each with their interpretation of Food Safety mandates. It is strongly suggested that ALL jurisdictions  embrace the latest edition of the FDA Food Code Guidance

Bill just some random thoughts