Modernize meat, poultry inspection: T.F.A.H.

by MEAT&POULTRY Staff
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WASHINGTON – Trust for America’s Health, which backs Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s "Food Safety Modernization Act", is also pushing to have meat and poultry inspection "modernized." The act was introduced Feb. 4 and would establish a food safety administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to modernize the nation’s "fractured and failing" food-safety protection system.

"The U.S. food-safety system has not been fundamentally modernized in over 100 years. We need to bring meat and poultry inspection practices into the 21st century and realign our resources to match the highest threats to our food supply. We’re way past due for a smart and strategic upgrade," Rich Hamburg, government relations director of Trust for America’s Health, told MEATPOULTRY.com when asked how T.F.A.H. feels about the role U.S.D.A.’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has been playing in safeguarding America’s meat and poultry products,

In referencing the Food Safety Modernization Act, T.F.A.H. said the latest outbreak of Salmonella found in peanut butter products, along with the nationwide salmonella outbreak in the summer of 2008; highlights the need to modernize U.S. food-safety policies and practices. In a letter to Ms. DeLauro signed by Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of T.F.A.H., he stated, "...the nation’s food-safety system is in crisis. The current outbreak of salmonella in peanut butter products is only the latest illustration of a weakened food-protection system plagued with serious gaps in leadership, legislative authorities, and surveillance coordination and capacity."

T.F.A.H. said its 2008 report, titled "Fixing Food Safety: Protecting America’s Food Supply from Farm-to-Fork", identifies major gaps in the nation’s food-safety system, including obsolete laws, misallocation of resources and inconsistencies among major food-safety agencies, he wrote. "The result is a fractionalized system focusing on antiquated threats, instead of a strategic approach to protecting the nation’s food supply through state-of-the-art technologies, practices, and policies," he added.

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