Food Safety Policies – Support, Opposition, and Ignorance

Video   Dec 23, 2016


Many parallels can be drawn between the food regulatory challenges of the United States and those of the European Union. The balance between the needs of the member nations under a central regulating body is similar to America’s new focus on an “Integrated Food Safety System” where the federal government works more closely with the 50 states. Throughout the 20th century and especially during the last two decades, food safety policy changes at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have lagged far behind those at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), despite a significant growth in the nation of food recalls, multi-state foodborne illness outbreaks, and related deaths. In 2016, the FDA will begin the implementation phase of the 2010 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The product of many government, industry, and consumer stakeholders, the Act aims to reduce the risks of illnesses attributed to food from facilities subject to authority under the FDA. Through analysis of government reports, archival documents, and interviews with key players at the county, state, federal level, and in between, this presentation investigates the obstacles faced by those tasked with enforcing the rules written for compliance with the Act. This study recommends several ways that state policymakers can take action to implement federal food safety policies effectively and sustainably: States’ capacity for regulating food safety compliance; states’ regulatory structure; states’ policies, and funding. With each recommendation, I include characteristics of an ideal state program as well as strategies, both based on my study.


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