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Trust for America's Health Applauds President Obama's Call for a Complete Review of the U.S. Food Safety System
Date:2/2/2009

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Trust for America's Health (TFAH) strongly supports President Obama's call for a "complete review" of the nation's food safety system. The latest outbreak of Salmonella tied to peanut butter products in addition to major E.coli and Salmonella outbreaks in 2008 highlight the need to modernize U.S. food safety policies and practices.

TFAH released a comprehensive report, Fixing Food Safety: Protecting America's Food Supply from Farm-to-Fork in 2008, identifying major gaps in the country's food safety system, including obsolete laws, misallocation of resources, and inconsistencies among major food safety agencies. The full report can be found at: http://healthyamericans.org/reports/foodsafety08/.

"The peanut butter scandal shows that our nation's food safety system is broken and is in urgent need of modernization," said Jeff Levi, Ph.D., Executive Director of TFAH. "The government failed to require a preventive standard for production and the oversight function failed at several points after problems were identified. The result was the tainted product was knowingly shipped to institutions who serve some of the most vulnerable members of our society." Levi went on to urge the President to "move rapidly to appoint a new Food and Drug Commissioner with a mandate to overhaul food safety operations within the FDA."

Approximately 76 million Americans -- one in four -- are sickened by foodborne disease each year. Of these, an estimated 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die, costing the U.S. $44 billion annually. TFAH has urged the FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide detailed strategic plans to Congress with corresponding budget increases, so that crises of this nature are contained in a more effective way, or prevented from r
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SOURCE Trust for America's Health
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