Manufacturing News

Congress to beef up inspection activities

With one food recall after another making headlines, Congress appears intent on beefing up federal government food inspection activities. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a high profile hearing last month, calling the current and past commissioners of the FDA before it to outline the agency’s problems and offer prescriptions.





The consensus among the former commissioners is the FDA is overworked, under-funded, and not up to the task before it, especially in the area of food safety.

“Simply put, our food safety system is broken,” said Dr. David Kessler, who served as FDA commissioner from 1990-1997.

Kessler attributed many of the problems to what he called “a confluence of factors,” chronic under-funding, a lack of enforcement authority and severely outdated scientific and regulatory frameworks. It’s all led, he says, to a lack of confidence in the FDA, which has diverted more of its limited resources to drugs and less to food inspections.

“Food safety cannot be delegated to second-tier management within the agency, and the fact is that food is a second-tier priority within the FDA,” Kessler charged. “In addition, the current structure is fragmented in FDA. Responsibilities for food are spread across the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, the Center for Veterinary Medicine, and the Office of Regulatory Affairs.”

Congressional Democrats are joining a growing number of food safety experts calling for increased funding for government inspections, countering the Bush Administration’s trend toward encouraging more industry self-regulation. Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) agreed with Kessler that there were clear warning signs that the “FDA is in crises.” He said the committee would focus on agency budget cuts, its ability to enforce regulations and the legal authorities the agency has to do its job.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo 2015

Images from Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo in Clearwater Beach, Florida, April 12-15, 2015. The event brought food and beverage processors and suppliers together to gain valuable information on the latest trends and technologies in manufacturing, automation, sustainability and food safety.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering May 2015 Cover

2015 May

The May 2015 issue of Food Engineering explores effective tools for hitting manufacturing targets. Also, read how processors are looking for faster ways to detect harmful pathogens in food and beverages without sacrificing accuracy or reliability.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.