Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Center For Food Safety Request: Help Us To End FDA’s Failure to Protect Food Safety

Help Us To End FDA’s Failure to Protect Food Safety

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year, roughly 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.  In January 2011, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) to improve our food safety laws by mandating FDA to require preventive controls across the food supply.  As the first overhaul of food safety oversight since 1938, these long-overdue measures include inspecting food producers as a means of holding industry accountable for its responsibility to produce safe foods, ensuring imported foods meet U.S. standards and are safe for consumers, and establishing science-based minimum standards for hazard analysis and documentation.   FSMA also grants FDA new recall authority for all food products, and enhances partnerships to foster coordination of food safety efforts throughout the government (local, state, and federal).  In short, this slew of preventative, protective measures would dramatically reduce the number of illnesses caused by foodborne hazards in the United States.

Unfortunately, FDA has yet to act on this law, repeatedly missing deadlines set by Congress in FSMA for its application.  Instead the statute’s intended improvements sit idle.  Thus, FDA’s continuing delay and failure poses a continued risk of serious foodborne illness outbreaks.

Because of this unlawful delay and the risk it is causing all of us, on August 29, 2012, Center for Food Safety filed a lawsuit to force FDA to finish its regulations, comply with the mandated deadlines, and actually implement the law.

Now, we need your help: we are looking for more CFS members who are concerned about FDA’s failure to implement and enforce these food safety regulations.  

*Are you responsible for providing food for your family, and are concerned that absent properly enacted food safety federal regulations, your family is at increased risk of contracting a foodborne illness?

*Are you concerned about, and have you changed your purchasing decisions, cooking and/or eating practices with regard to raw fruits and vegetables, imported foods, or food that has been transported long distances?

*Have you or someone you know recently contracted a foodborne illness? Are you concerned that, absent better federal regulations, you or someone you know may contract an illness again?

*Do you own a business that sells raw fruits and vegetables, imported foods, or food that has been transported? Have your sales have been negatively impacted due to recent foodborne illness outbreaks or the specter of them?

*Do you run a business subject to FSMA regulations?  Are the lack of FSMA regulations negatively affecting your ability to plan financially for the future?

If you meet one or more of these criteria, we need your help.  Please email or call 415-826-2770 as soon as possible to learn more.

Thank you,
Center for Food Safety

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