by Marion Nestle
Oct 14 2008

GAO: FDA must do better on produce safety and food labeling

For decades, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been pressing the FDA to do a better job of regulating the food supply.  These days, the GAO is dealing with produce safety.  It worries that the FDA has no formal program in place to protect the safety of fresh produce when it is so obvious that such a program is needed.  The GAO also scolds the FDA for not keeping up with monitoring of food labels.  The FDA has too much to do and not enough resources.  But, says GAO, the FDA would do better if it took this watchdog agency’s advice–but it doesn’t.  Why not?  The GAO doesn’t say so, but it’s politics, of course.  The food industry is ever vigilant against regulation.   This stance goes against the food industry’s best interest, in my view.  Yours?

  • Sheila

    Although I would LIKE to see improved safety activities, I worry that the food industry has a monopoly of sorts. That is, relatively few of us have the time/strength/land/knowledge/motivation to produce all our own food. Most of us rely on the convenience of going to the store and dumping a bunch of stuff in our cart and leaving with our haul in a matter of minutes. Thus, they know we will buy whatever they put out, and not boycott often enough or long enough to make a financial difference to them. So, I bet they reason we are a captive audience of sorts, thus why should they spend more time/effort/money to improve labeling or safety activities.