While the number of FDA overseas inspections has fluctuated, FDA has opened up several overseas offices to tackle imported food safety issues at the point of origin. FDA is also testing a computer-based system to target high-risk imports for additional inspection when they arrive at US points of entry.
In 2008, FDA inspected 153 foreign food facilities out of an estimated 189,000 registered facilities. In 2007, the agency inspected just 95 facilities. FDA estimated it would conduct 200 inspections in 2009 and 600 in 2010. In addition, it opened offices in
FDA’s testing of a new computer screening system-the Predictive Risk-Based Evaluation for Dynamic Import (PREDICT)-indicates the system could enhance FDA’s risk-based screening efforts at points of entry, but the system is not yet fully operational, says the GAO study. PREDICT will generate a numerical risk score for all FDA-regulated products by analyzing importers’ shipment information using sets of FDA-developed risk criteria and to target for inspection products that have a high-risk score.
GAO identified several gaps in enforcement that could allow food products violating safety laws to enter the
Information flow is at issue, too. For example, the study says that FDA’s and CBP’s computer systems do not share information. FDA does not always share with state governments certain distribution-related information, such as recalling a company’s distribution lists, which impedes the states’ efforts to quickly remove contaminated products from grocery stores and warehouses.For more information on GAO recommendations or to download the GAO study, visit GAO’s Web site.
For a period of five weeks, the researchers fed either water or two-fold diluted coffee to a group of laboratory mice commonly used to study diabetes. Coffee consumption prevented the development of high-blood sugar and also improved insulin sensitivity in the mice, thus reducing the risk of diabetes.
Coffee also produced several other beneficial changes, related to a reduced diabetes risk, in the fatty liver and inflammatory adipocytokines. Additional studies showed that caffeine may be one of the most effective anti-diabetic compounds in coffee, the study says.For more information or to read the study, visit the ACS Web site.
“It is true that we have one of the safest food supplies in the world,” Dingell said. “Unfortunately, this title does not suffice. The continuing stream of recalls and illness demonstrate that more can and must be done. We can no longer close our eyes and hope our food safety problems will go away. We can do better than that, and the American people deserve more than that.”
Progress on the Senate version of food safety reform appeared to slow last month after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced an amendment that would tightly restrict the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in food and beverage containers. That move drew opposition from much of the food industry, which had been mostly supportive of the measure.
“We are pleased to see the report acknowledge the tremendous nutrient richness of dairy products and reaffirm the important role that low-fat and fat-free milk and dairy products play in providing the nine essential nutrients kids need,” said Connie Tipton, president and CEO of the IDFA.The report includes 70 steps or recommendations to reduce childhood obesity, which it calls an epidemic. Mrs. Obama said the campaign will rely on education and persuasion and not seek changes in law or regulations at this time.
Chandler Johnson joined World Water Works as chief technology officer.
Tom Swovick joined TGW, an integrated logistics solutions and material handling equipment provider, as systems sales manager for the food and beverage vertical market.
NutraCea appointed J. Dale Belt executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief accounting officer.
ACS Group promoted Jeff Jakubiak as material handling/electrical production supervisor for the material handling department.
BASF Pest Control Solutions appointed Travis Chambers as its new senior sales specialist covering
Gareth Meese was named export sales manager for Magnet Applications Limited, a subsidiary of Bunting Magnetics Company.
Brookfield Engineering Laboratories appointed Joe Murray to the position of regional sales manager for process instrumentation.
Elanco Food Solutions appointed Jackson McReynolds as poultry technical consultant, Simon Hall as national accounts manager, poultry and Ginny Stephens as national accounts manager, poultry.
John Paul Cerroti joined Oxford Instruments Magnetic Resonance as its product marketing manager.
Tom Churchill joined ESE’s sales and engineering teams as an estimator/application engineer.
Wellington Foods Inc., a nutritional supplement manufacturer, received the Natural Products Association Good Manufacturing Practices (NPA GMP) certification for the dietary supplement industry.