A few weeks ago I spoke to the CMAJ for the story that they published this morning – "Report calls for overhaul of US food safety system:"

… A 500-page report by a committee of the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council recommends, among other things, that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shift "from a reactive approach to a risk-based approach" to food safety, set up a central data analysis operation to more efficiently pinpoint problems and better coordinate inspection efforts with state and local governments.

The study, "Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration," suggests the FDA is failing to keep up with new challenges and lacks the vision to ensure food safety (http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12892). While more than 15 US agencies have some role in food safety, the FDA oversees about 80% of the country’s food supply, including all produce, seafood and cheeses. …

Attorney Bill Marler, whose Seattle law firm specializes in food-related illnesses, says a lack of coordination among state, federal and local governments is one reason that outbreaks of foodborne illnesses aren’t identified more quickly.

FDA is "underfunded and understaffed for what we expect them to do and it’s only getting worse" as imports increase and food production becomes more complex, Marler says. "The risks are just larger. We’ve not kept up with the reality of how our food is produced."…

  • Doc Mudd

    Leave it to the Canucks to peer over the fence and casually observe the obvious – the U.S. dithers and plays whack-a-mole from outbreak to outbreak instead of focusing on prevention!
    Let’s finally break the reactive cycle…pass S.510 and usher in a meaningful proactive approach to food safety in the U.S!
    Don’t let ‘special interest’ opponents of S.510 succeed in influencing the Senate to do nothing, change nothing. Call your congressperson and insist that modern food safety legislation be passed into law for the benefit of all Americans who eat. Take a moment and do it this week, do it today – time is wasting!