New Products

Congress to beef up inspection activities

July 3, 2007
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+




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to what he called “a confluence of factors,” chronic under-funding, a lack of enforcement authority and severely outdated scientific and regulatory frameworks.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

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.

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

FSMA Audit

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

Food Engineering

FE September 2014

2014 September

The September 2014 issue of Food Engineering explores how lean manufacturing, quality improvements and increased automation helps processors meet rapidly changing demands. Also, read how robotics, advanced machine controls, software and OEE are just a few of the tools that can boost productivity on packaging lines.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

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.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

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

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +