Manufacturing News

Regulatory Watch: Will food safety be a priority for Obama?

December 1, 2008
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
There’s no question President-elect Barack Obama has a full plate of urgent problems as he goes about putting together his administration, but members of Congress, consumer advocates and industry officials agree that food safety issues deserve early attention.

A strong FDA Commissioner is seen as a first step toward restoring integrity to the food inspection process. Critics point out the agency had only an acting director during four of the eight years of the Bush administration. Fairly or unfairly, the FDA’s reputation suffered in recent years after a number of tainted-food recalls.

“The FDA’s going to have to re-earn the trust of the public,” says Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director for the consumer group, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

 In addition to a strong commissioner, Wolfe and others would like to see the FDA receive more resources and power. Late last year, an unlikely alliance that included the Consumer Federation of America and Center for Science in the Public Interest, as well as the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute, publicly supported efforts by Congressional Democrats to beef up the FDA’s FY2009 budget.

More free trade needed  

The Democratic sweep in the November elections might not bode well for free trade, but National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President John Engler says the US needs more free trade, not less. In late October, Engler called for a Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, noting that the US and EU now account for about 56% of the world’s GDP.

Engler says NAM does not regard last summer’s failure of the July World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial to be the end of the Doha Round or the death of the WTO.

“The Kennedy Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in the 1960s took four years,” he says. “The Tokyo round took six years. The Uruguay Round of the ‘80s and ‘90s took eight years. No one should be surprised if the Doha Round- the most difficult yet-would take 10 years.”

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

Fabulous Food Plant: Paramount Citrus

Learn more about this fabulous food plant in Food Engineering's article, found here.


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 Magazine

Food engineering magazine 2014 april cover

2014 April

Catch a preview of the Powder and Bulk Show in this April 2014 edition of Food Engineering. Also, be sure to check out a coffee stick making a real stir and a major advancement in the the pet food industry.
Table Of Contents Subscribe


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 to learn more.


FE recent tweets