Navigation Links
Food-borne Illnesses in U.S. Cost $152B Annually

Report urges Congress to pass vigorous food-safety legislation

WEDNESDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- Food-borne illnesses cost the United States an estimated $152 billion each year in health-related expenses, much more than previously thought, a new report contends.

"These costs are significantly more than previous official estimates, and it demonstrates the serious burden that food-borne illness places on society," Sandra Eskin, director of the Food Safety Campaign at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C., said during a Tuesday press conference.

These health-related costs include physician services, hospital services, medicines and also quality-of-life losses, such as deaths, pain, suffering and disability.

Every year, an estimated 76 million Americans are sickened by contaminated food and 5,000 of these people die, according to federal statistics.

Although most of these of costs are due to unidentified germs, infections from well-known pathogens play a large role. For example, costs related to campylobacter exceed $18.8 billion annually; costs linked to salmonella are estimated at $14.6 billion; and costs related to listeria are $8.8 billion, according to the report.

The majority of food-borne illnesses are caused by produce, which are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Thirty-nine percent of E. coli outbreaks were due to produce regulated by the FDA, the report said.

According to the report, California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania have the highest costs related to food-borne illness, ranging from $6.7 billion to $18.6 billion each year.

The report was based on federal government sources using the same statistical methods used by the FDA, report author Robert L. Scharff, an assistant professor in the Department of Consumer Sciences at Ohio State University, said during the teleconference.

The numbers are larger than previously reported because "this report looks at a comprehensive set of all the pathogens that cause food-borne illness," Scharff said. Earlier reports looked at only a few pathogens, he noted.

"The 'costs' of food-borne illness can be measured in millions of cases of suffering, and thousands of deaths each year in the U.S.," said Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine. "Frankly, that has always been enough to convince me we should be doing more to address this problem. But if it hasn't convinced you, maybe the price tag in a more conventional currency will: more than $150 billion a year."

Eskin hopes the report will spur Congress to pass a food-safety bill that with strengthen the FDA's food-safety efforts by giving the agency more authority over the foods it regulates and more money to devote to making the food supply safer.

President Barack Obama last year created the Food Safety Working Group. "We are still waiting for Congress to pass a comprehensive food safety law," Eskin said, adding that the House of Representatives passed a food-safety bill in July, but the Senate has yet to act.

The new report was sponsored by a variety of groups, including the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumers Union, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and Trust for America's Health. It was conducted by the Produce Safety Project at Georgetown University.

In October, the Center for Science in the Public Interest released a report on food-borne illness related to foods regulated by the FDA. According to the report, which used data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 10 riskiest foods are: leafy greens, eggs, tuna, oysters, potatoes, cheese, ice cream, tomatoes, sprouts and berries.

The report noted that food-borne illnesses are becoming more common in the United States for several reasons, including an increasingly complex and global food system, outdated food safety laws and the rise of large-scale production and processing methods.

More information

For more on food-borne illness, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: March 2, 2010, teleconference with: Sandra Eskin, director, Food Safety Campaign, Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, D.C.; Robert L. Scharff, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University; David Katz, M.D., director, Prevention Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; March 3, 2010, report, Health-Related Costs From Foodborne Illness in the United States

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Electrolyzed Water Gives Boost to Eliminating Food-Borne Bacteria Such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria Murrays Chicken to be First Poultry Processor to Utilize New Technology in its Food Sanitation Process
2. Red wine and grape juice help defend against food-borne diseases, according to MU researchers
3. New Diagnostic Guidelines for Mental Illnesses Proposed
4. Young patients with chronic illnesses find relief in acupuncture
5. Mental illnesses are second leading cause of time off work in Spain
6. Social Networking Community Reaches Out to Persons With Illnesses and Disabilities
7. FDA, CDC, and States Investigating Norovirus Illnesses Linked to Oysters
8. Salon Leau to Host Cuts for a Cause to Raise Funds and Spread the Word About Childhood Terminal Illnesses
9. Minnesota Charity Launches Global Initiative to Help Children and Families Fighting Chronic Illnesses
10. Patients with chronic rhinosinusitis have increased incidence of other chronic illnesses
11. UPI to Host Newsmaker Forum on Water-related Illnesses
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Consistent with the ... 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs meeting will showcase some of ... 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a pre-conference session on ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The moment you stop ... not only fulfilling the needs of advisers and clients but going above and ... providing top-tier customer service. However, there's always room for improvement, which is why ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the largest, most successful and prominent nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They ... involvement with various organizations, and helped advance the healthcare industry as a whole ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the ... LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. , Making the ... a version of Asterisk that will receive not only security fixes, but feature ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... CognisantMD ... for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, family physicians ... directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for redundant patient ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> Medical ... response system (PERS) market is ... 5 years with APAC being ... to see a high CAGR ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... -- --> --> Juntendo ... optimal contrast weighting of MRI for patients with Multiple ... research agreement with SyntheticMR in order to use SyMRI in ... possible to generate multiple contrast images from a single scan ... thus making it possible to both fine tune images and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 ... has announced the addition of the  ... in the Global Cell Surface Testing ... Opportunities" report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: