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Congressional Report Criticizes FDA for Food Safety
Date:6/12/2008

Wisconsin, the FDA said.

Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea in humans. Some 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported in the United States each year, although the CDC estimates that because milder cases are not diagnosed or reported, the actual number of infections may be 30 or more times greater. Approximately 600 people die each year after being infected.

Also Thursday, a poll released by the Harvard School of Public Health's Project on the Public and Biological Security found that, despite the number of food safety incidents in recent years, most Americans are confident that the food produced in the United States is safe. However, many have concerns about the safety of imported food produced in some other countries. They also do not have high levels of confidence in parts of the U.S. food safety system and some of the organizations involved.

The poll found that a majority of Americans believe that the food produced in the United States is either very (37 percent) or somewhat (58 percent) safe. Only 4 percent thought U.S.-produced foods were unsafe. When asked about foods available in the United States but produced in other countries, fewer than one in 10 (6 percent) considered foods from Canada to be unsafe. Conversely, almost half of Americans (47 percent) thought food from Mexico was unsafe, and 56 percent thought the same about food from China.

Although most Americans see U.S.-produced food as relatively safe, they do have some reservations about the groups involved in food production and provision. Majorities have only some or very little confidence in meat producers (58 percent) or restaurants (55 percent) to keep food safe, while substantial minorities say this about grocery stores (41 percent) and fruit and vegetable growers (39 percent). Also, Americans have some concerns about the government food inspection system: 52 percent have only some or very little confidence in the inspection syste
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