Monday, March 16, 2009

Food Safety Working Group: Recommended Reading

March 16, 2009

In order to achieve an effective, efficient food safety regulatory system – one that assures a safe food supply at a cost we can afford – the new Food Safety Working Group will need to do its homework.

Specifically, we would expect this interdepartmental committee to:

  • Define the scope of the problem;
  • Study past efforts taken to revamp the US food safety system;
  • Study efforts made by other countries to reform their food safety systems; and
  • Determine what worked – and what fell short – in past reform efforts, both domestic and international.

As a first step in this review process, we would suggest a Required Reading list for Working Group members that includes at least the following items:

Much of the leg work has already been carried out, especially by the President's Council on Food Safety. While some of the Council's observations and recommendations will need to be updated, most of its findings are still current. 

It should not take another seven years – and several more major outbreaks – before the Working Group submits its recommendations to President Obama for action.

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