Stories Below come from our Media Partner 3BL Media - Click their logo or any of the stories for more information
Focus on Food Safety
Updated January 2011 -
The year 2010 saw incidents of food-borne illness from common foods such as eggs, spinach, tomatoes, ground beef, peanut butter, candy, pet food, and cookie dough The nearly weekly investigations and recalls of various foods items from the USA and abroad created ever- mounting pressure on the US Congress to take action and revise the nation’s food safety laws.
In December 2010, the first major overhaul of the food-safety system since the1930s was adopted by the Congress and then signed into law by President Barack Obama in early January 2011. The law calls for increasing government inspections at food-processing facilities and, for the first time, gives the Food and Drug Administration the power to order the recall of unsafe foods.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that each year 1 out of 6 Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from food borne diseases. 12/2010
With increased regulation opposed by many family-owned and organic farmers, the legislation still needs to be funded and with the change in the control of the US House of Representatives funding might be a huge problem. The law does set standards and now shifts the focus to other countries that export food stuffs into the United States. A January poll of consumers in China indicated that more than 70% did not have confidence in the safety of their [nation’s] food supply. China is a large supplier of food to North America. It remains to be seen if food exporting countries will raise the bar on food safety in the future as a result of the US’s action.
Food Safety will continue to be a focus of interest of corporations, Congress and the public and AC subscribers will be able to read about it all here under the Hot Topic of Food Safety.
Food…trust – and provider accountability -- the three terms clearly go together. We consume food hundreds, even thousands of miles from its origination. Trust is everything! Anything we put in our bodies every day should be “trustworthy,” in terms of where it came from -- and everyone involved in the food supply chain should be accountable for their actions (or inaction in certain cases). From grower / farmer / planter / rancher to food processor to retailer or food service or restaurant…and then to each of us – there is a clear chain of accountability. Trust is the important foundation all along the human food chain – preserving trust should be an imperative for every player. And yet, accidents do happen. Each year in the United States tainted foods cause an estimated 75 million illnesses resulting in more than 300,000 hospitalizations and as many as 5,000 deaths or more. (World-wide food hazards kill more than 1.8 million people each year, mostly affecting children.)
The impact on the U.S. economy in medical costs alone top $6.5 billion with maybe two or three times that number in financial losses to business, industry and government. More and more of the food items that we in the U.S.A. consume come to our shores from foreign and third world production and processing sources, where there can be a lack of adequate sanitation or proper food handling procedures and oversight.
Even here in America, numerous food processing issues arise each year, typically involving incidents of food-borne illnesses originating from such biological hazards as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, and these and more continue to be significant public health threats. Those at greatest risk are children, senior citizens, pregnant women and their unborn children, and those with impacted immune systems.
There is heightened interest in food safety issues on the part of consumers and their advocates; government officials at the federal, state and local levels; the healthcare community; media; and food, retailing and restaurant industries. The nation has made great progress in identifying harmful food production technologies, ramping up safety procedures, and adopting rules and regulations and to promote safer methods of handling and preparing foods.
Food Safety is all about Accountability – and trust. The AC Hot Topic – Food Safety section is designed to present timely and useful news and information, a range of commentary, and reports on research on food safety topics. The objective: To improve and expand the public dialogue and contribute to the goal of safer food sources, processing and monitoring for all citizens. As always, we are interested in your comments on this important topic.
Latest on Focus on Food Safety
December 28, 2010 GMA Hails Passage of ‘Landmark’ Food Safety BillSource: Gourmet Retailer.com
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has expressed its satisfaction that the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act has cleared Congress, following the passage of the legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives.
December 27, 2010 Editorial: Food-safety bill needs commitment of money to workSource: Sheboyganpress
The long-awaited and much-needed overhaul of the nation's food inspection system still faces a difficult hurdle. Lawmakers approved the overhaul of the Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for inspecting about 80...
December 24, 2010 Food Safety Gets a ChanceSource: The Huffington Post
Salmonella in eggs, peanuts, tomatoes, and spinach; and melamine in pet food and candy imported from China... With a regularity that has become downright terrifying, the food safety system in the United States has given us ample...
December 23, 2010 President to Sign Food Safety Bill in Early 2011Source: Food Safety News
Ending out the anything-but-lame duck session, President Obama signed several bills into law on Wednesday, but the sweeping food safety bill approved by Congress Tuesday was not among them. The bill will likely not be signed into...
December 23, 2010 UN concerned about China's food safety activiSource: AP
BEIJING— China has made "remarkable progress" in growing sufficient food to feed its people but its official efforts to silence people who alert the public to food safety problems are worrisome, a U.N. official said Thursday.
December 22, 2010 Food-safety bill backed by HouseSource: Washington Post
The House passed a measure to overhaul the nation's food-safety laws by a vote of 215 to 144 Tuesday afternoon, and President Obama is expected to sign it into law as soon as Wednesday.
December 22, 2010 China Considers Tougher Food Safety PenaltiesSource: Food Safety News
In the wake of several high-profile food safety scandals, China's top legislature is considering amending its criminal code to stiffen the penalties for food safety crimes
December 21, 2010 Latest Terror Threat in US Aimed to Poison FoodSource: CBS News
In this exclusive story, CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports the latest terror attack to America involves the possible use of poisons - simultaneous attacks targeting hotels and restaurants at many...
December 20, 2010 Senate OKs food safety measureSource: Politico.com
The Senate on Sunday night cleared a food safety package, curbing earlier fears the popular bill would die by the end of this session as a result of a procedural error by upper chamber lawmakers. Aides close to the bill expect...
December 20, 2010 Mars Awarded for Commitment to Cocoa SustainabilitySource: Thought For Food
On Friday (17 December) Mars, Incorporated received the U.S. Secretary of State’s 2010 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) for its work in cocoa sustainability and efforts to improve economic development in the cocoa-growing...
|HOME | ABOUT THE SITE | REGISTRATION INFORMATION | VOICES: FEATURED COMMENTATORS AND BLOGGERS | SPECIAL SECTIONS|