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New Report Calls Food Safety System Antiquated, Calls for Reform
Date:3/25/2009

WASHINGTON , March 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today released a new report, Keeping America's Food Safe: A Blueprint for Fixing the Food Safety System at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which examines problems with the fragmented and antiquated current system and proposes ways to improve the food safety functions at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to better protect the nation's food supply.

"Our food safety system is plagued with problems, and it's leading to millions of Americans becoming needlessly sick each year," said Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH. "The system is outdated and unable to effectively deal with today's threats. Its current structure actually prevents the kind of coordinated, focused effort that Americans need more than ever and have a right to expect."

The report calls for the immediate consolidation of food safety leadership within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and ultimately the creation of a separate Food Safety Administration within HHS. Currently, no FDA official whose full-time job is food safety has line authority over all food safety functions. A speedy effort by the Obama administration to consolidate leadership within FDA, followed by Congressional action to create a separate Food Safety Administration, would both ensure immediate progress on food safety and create a platform for long-term success in reducing foodborne illness.

President Barack Obama recently called for restructuring and improving the U.S. food safety system. This report helps provide a road map for the first steps toward revamping the system.

"Food safety needs to be a priority on the prevention menu," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the R
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SOURCE Trust for America's Health
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