Nov 6 2007

More about the new food safety plans

The FDA has released its version of the new food safety plans for imported foods. It has established a Food Protection Plan web site, an Import Safety site, and a new plan for food protection. These are linked to the import safety plan mentioned in yesterday’s posting. It’s still difficult to figure out how all this will work in practice but the idea seems to be to require countries that export foods to us to certify their exporters and allow U.S. inspectors on site. And the FDA will be allowed to order recalls. What a concept! Some progress, but will it do the trick?

  • Kei

    Hmm…the thought of the FDA trying to regulate food imports is a little scary considering how few enforcement agents they have for this sort of thing. The analogy that comes to mind is of a person trying to hold back the waters of the Hoover Dam with their index finger.

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  • Bix

    I applaud the FDA’s efforts. But I don’t see how this is a consolidated food safety effort. The USDA, the Department of Commerce, etc., all operate distinctly. I have worked in an office. I know that different groups with different bosses and different policies don’t easily “work together.” They aren’t all following the same script.

    I would like to see a consolidated food safety agency, with one Food Safety Administrator, of the type outlined in the Safe Food Act 2007, which has been endorsed by a number of Senators, including Hillary Clinton. This agency would apply standard (the same) food safety regulations to *all* affected departments and agencies.

    For years I’ve wondered why the USDA had recall authority but the FDA didn’t. It makes me wonder what other authorities differ among agencies.

    (The on-site certification, the foreign inspection, etc., were all called for in the Safe Food Act which was first circulated in Congress in 1999! I love democracy, but it sure does take a long time to get things done.)

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  • Anna