November 30, 2010

Passage of food bill not enough to ensure safety

Richard Williams

Senior Affiliated Scholar
Summary

The food-safety bill passed in the Senate this morning, but it's unlikely that increases to the number of inspections and the power to force recalls given to the FDA by the bill will do much to improve food safety.

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The food-safety bill passed in the Senate this morning, but it's unlikely that increases to the number of inspections and the power to force recalls given to the FDA by the bill will do much to improve food safety.

This approach hasn’t been working. Why would we be pursing more of the same?

The FDA’s budget for food safety was doubled in the 1990’s, yet the same number of people contracting food-borne illness-76 million-that was used to justify the budget increase then, was used to justify this bill.

There should be some accountability requirement made of FDA for this additional authority and financing. The FDA should be required to track and show progress reducing food borne disease or this funding should be shut off.