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
- 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.
- 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