Manufacturing News

Regulatory Watch

April 1, 2008
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

FSIS understaffed?
Food Safety and Inspection Service, which regulates meat, poultry and egg products, faces resource limitations that make it more difficult for the agency to ensure the safety of the food supply, according to a report by OMB Watch, a non-profit advocacy group that monitors the federal Office of Management and Budget. Although FSI’s budget has risen since it was created, OMB Watch notes that staffing levels have dropped steadily, leaving the inspection force too thin. “Meanwhile, the number of meat, poultry and egg product recalls has risen, and a recent recall of 143 million pounds of beef is the largest in the nation’s history,” the report says.

Foreign supplier scrutiny
Showing growing impatience with Congress and the Bush Administration, the food industry itself is once again calling for increased inspection of the food supply. Following Congressional hearings on food safety in late February, the Grocery Manufacturers Association proposed a comprehensive plan for improving the safety of both imported and domestic food. The plan includes a requirement that every food company have in place a mandatory foreign supplier quality assurance program to ensure foods and food ingredients arriving on American shores from overseas meet company and federal government standards. It also commits food companies to voluntarily sharing confidential test results and laboratory data and sourcing information with FDA so the government can focus its limited resources on high-risk products and countries, such as China.

Farm Bill not so sweet
CEOs at 17 major food companies have signed letters to key members of the House and Senate expressing strong opposition to proposed sugar provisions in the Farm Bill. The executives took special aim at a provision that guarantees US sugar growers 85% of the domestic market. The CEOs argue that not only is this bad business, it probably violates international trade agreements. “These provisions will increase taxpayer costs, threaten the adequacy of sugar supplies in the marketplace and risk harm to the interests of US farmers, ranchers and food and beverage firms,” the letter states. The letter also asks Congressional leaders to reject provisions that would increase sugar price supports, further restrict USDA’s ability to administer sugar import quotas and mandate government purchases of surplus sugar for ethanol production.

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

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



Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.


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

FE October 2014 Cover

2014 October

The October 2014 issue of Food Engineering explores companies that have successfully grappled with "the new business reality" and are coming to terms with it being here to stay. Also, read about the work going on behind the scenes to keep FSMA on track.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

FSMA Audit

What is the is most important step you have taken to become ready for a FSMA audit?
View Results Poll Archive


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.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

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

Visit to learn more.