Food safety opinion round-up: (Registrations may be required)
- Chicago Tribune: The FDA food safety czar has no clothes.
- Contra Costa Times: Foods contents should be as clearly labeled as clothing.
- Modesto Bee: Arguments for and against Country Of Origin Labeling.
Related: A profile of Dr. Acheson
That comes back to communication. Acheson says he tries to find a balance between informing and disseminating incomplete or inaccurate information. “The goal across the board is to be as transparent as we possibly can and to tell the public what we know and what we don’t.”
During an investigation, he says, some brand names can’t be given out and others shouldn’t be until their roles can be verified.
In the cases where brand names have been withheld by the FDA, it was very clear that the unnamed companies were notified of the receipt of a tainted substance. The FDA needs to be more transparent to win the public’s trust.
In fact, an April 24 GAO report called for an overhaul of the US food safety system. (GAO report PDF highlight)
“While this nation enjoys a plentiful and varied food supply that is generally considered to be safe, the federal oversight of food safety is fragmented, with 15 agencies collectively administering at least 30 laws related to food safety,” the report says.
One problem the report cites is that while USDA is responsible for only meat, poultry and processed egg products - about 20% of the food supply - it receives the majority of food safety expenditures. The FDA regulates the other 80% of the food supply, but only accounted for about 24% of expenditures.
Canadian readers: Imported pet food approved despite serious doubts. Pet food company president says he’s not overly concerned over “hysteria.”
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(Thanks to Pet Connection and many readers.)