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U.S. Food Safety: Solutions at a Glance
Date:1/16/2008

the biggest risk;
  • lobbying for more resources for the FDA to oversee food safety;
  • bolstering efforts within foreign countries to improve safety standards there.
  • "Ideally, we would like to put programs in place that prevent these problems overseas, so that we're not just relying on us to catch them at the border," Scott explained.

    The GMA is opposed to certain other recommendations, such as importer user fees. "We look at that as just being another tax," Scott said.

    It also opposes granting the FDA recall authority over foods.

    "There are maybe only two incidents that I can remember in the last 10 years where the company refused [to recall goods], and, in both instances, the FDA came out with a press release that was worse than them doing a recall, because it said, 'You are making a hazardous product,' " Scott said.

    GMA also opposes country-of-origin labeling. "A lot of people think, 'Well, if I know that it's from China, then I won't eat it,' " Scott said. "But that kind of muddies the water, because there's a lot coming from China that is safe. It doesn't tell you as much as people think it would."

    As for product traceability, Scott said time-tested, reliable systems are already in place. Most food companies know who they received a particular product from, she said, and they also know where they are sending their products. This creates a kind of information "chain" that Scott said is pretty easy to follow, right back to the farm.


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