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
January 14, 2021 Humans Face a “Ghastly Future” Unless Extraordinary Action Is Taken Soon on SustainabilitySource: Sci Tech Daily
Without immediate and drastic intervention, humans face a “ghastly future” — including declining health, climate devastation, tens of millions of environmental migrants and more pandemics — in the next several decades, according...
January 12, 2021 Making palm oil more sustainableSource: Bangkok Post
Palm oil has long been a major economic backbone of Southeast Asian economies, notably Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. But the undeniable environmental impact of extensive deforestation, haze and forest fires caused by oil palm...
Source: MSN News
The Prince of Wales has launched a new charter in order to promote sustainable practices within the private business sector. The Terra Carta charter sets out a ten-point action plan for businesses as part of a recovery plan...
January 8, 2021 UK's beef herds could be key to sustainable farming, says reportSource: The Guardian
The UK’s beef herd could be at the heart of a sustainable farming system that tackles both the climate and wildlife crises while producing sufficient healthy food, according to a report.
January 8, 2021 Green growth: Sustainability solutions led by local peopleSource: Web Wire
Strategic partnerships lie at the heart of our efforts to drive transformational change in the palm oil industry. In Indonesia, we’re supporting a local development and conservation programme focused on a critical group in...
January 7, 2021 Funding the Future of Agriculture: FarmTogether Enrolls 100% of its Acres in Leading Harvest's Sustainable Farmland Management StandardSource: Street Insider
FarmTogether, the technology-powered, online marketplace providing investors with direct access to farmland ownership, today announced that it has committed 100% of its acres to certify to the Leading Harvest Farmland Management...
January 6, 2021 The daily grind: how to cut carbon emissions from coffeeSource: Sustainability Times
Over 9.5 billion kg of coffee is produced around the world each year, with a total trade value of US$30.9 billion. Global coffee demand is expected to triple production by 2050, raising pressure on forests and other habitats in...
Source: Yahoo News
A code of practise is in the works for Canadian grain growers. Developed by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC), the voluntary code of conduct aims to create a standard for how grain farmers across Canada grow...
January 6, 2021 Swiss confectionery sector sets key sustainable sourcing goal
Swiss chocolate manufacturers have set a goal of importing only sustainably grown cocoa into the country, with an interim target of 80% of its supplies to be firmly within this category by 2025, according to Chocosuisse, the...
January 5, 2021 Joint Packard and Walton Family Foundation report identifies five key seafood sustainability focus areasSource: Seafood Source
A new report from the Packard and Walton Family Foundations has identified five key areas of focus that the seafood industry would need to build upon to develop demand in emerging sustainability markets in Latin America and Asia,...
|HOME | ABOUT THE SITE | SUBSCRIBE TO SUSTAINABILITY HIGHLIGHTS NEWSLETTER | VOICES: FEATURED COMMENTATORS AND BLOGGERS | SPECIAL SECTIONS|