February 19, 2014
Food Safety Advocates Share Their Views on Farm Bill
As Congress and the President completed the farm bill in February, victims of foodborne illness and their families wrote letters to the editor applauding federal leaders for leaving out proposals that threatened to undo parts of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
November 07, 2013
"A Voice in Favor of the Food Safety Modernization Act"
"In 2006, I almost died after eating spinach contaminated with E. coli. I spent nearly a month in and out of multiple emergency rooms and urgent care facilities. When I was able to return home, I had lost nearly 20 percent of my total body weight, and my recovery lasted five additional months of continuous treatment."
October 14, 2013
"Rolling the Dice on FoodBorne Illnesses"
The government shutdown has caused staff reductions at two important federal health agencies, increasing the risk of serious harm to American consumers from food-borne illnesses. The two agencies — the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — have decided to focus their remaining resources on imminent threats. But they have shut down very important work that allows them to spot potentially serious problems in advance and take steps to head them off. The longer Congressional Republicans allow the shutdown to continue, the greater the danger of harm.
October 01, 2013
"Importers Must Keep Food Safe"
"Six years ago, I learned a painful lesson. I bought Veggie Booty for our triplets, who were 20 months old at the time. That purchase ultimately opened my eyes to the need for better oversight of food that comes from abroad."
August 15, 2013
"New FDA Rules for Imported Food Protect Public Health"
"As we have become a nation of aspirational gourmets, we like to import our coffee beans, cheeses and wines. We want them to be exotic, connoting adventure and an appreciation for the extraordinary. Thanks to globalization, an increasing number of less-fancy foods are imported, too. But there is a problem with this bounty. We want to eat well and not die of food poisoning."
August 05, 2013
"No More Delay on Food Safety"
"Proposed new rules aimed at improving the safety of imported food were bottled up so long that some advocates were worried that the Obama administration had lost the political will to put them into effect."
August 02, 2013
"Food Safety Act Goes a Long Way Toward Protecting Colorado Consumers"
"As a physician in Aurora training to care for children with injuries or illnesses that impact their ability to move, I am used to helping my patients recover from all sorts of ailments; spinal cord injury, cancer, and neurologic disorders. However, I was surprised to learn about another extraordinarily common health threat that may bring patients to my hospital: food-borne illness."
July 19, 2013
"Food Safety, Farmer Welfare Inseparable"
"The editorial "Oppressing the farmers,” provides readers with a misleading picture of the Food Safety Modernization Act and produce safety standards that the FDA has proposed to fulfill this congressional mandate," writes Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner, foods and veterinary medicine, U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a letter to the editor in The Washington Times.
June 28, 2013
"Congress Shouldn't Weaken Food Safety Laws"
Being a Minnesotan, Jeff Almer searched for a polite term to describe how he feels about a congressional push to roll back the new food safety laws his family fought for when his elderly mother died after eating salmonella-laced peanut butter in late 2008.
June 10, 2013
"For Our Kids' Sake, Food Safety Must be a Priority''
"As a pediatrician, my No. 1 concern is to keep children safe and healthy. Inside the walls of my office, I can provide services and counseling to help do just that, whether by giving an infant her first childhood vaccine, providing a mental health screening to an adolescent patient or counseling parents about how to keep their homes as safe as possible. Unfortunately, there are some threats to children's health that are beyond my control, including the food they consume."
May 21, 2013
"Why Americans Should Worry About China’s Food Safety Problems"
This week’s revelation that nearly half the rice sold in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou was found to be tainted with cadmium is just the latest in a long string of eye-catching stories that illustrate the dangers of eating in China. But lost in the exhaustive media coverage are serious questions about what happens — or doesn’t happen — when Chinese food products make their way into the U.S.
April 18, 2013
Letter to the Editor: "FDA's New Goal is Preventing Foodborne Illness"
Brady Dennis’s April 9 article "FDA food rules yield harvest of opposition" reported why some tree fruit farmers want to be exempted from new rules on produce safety, but it did not fully explain why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposes to include them as part of a science-based, preventive approach to reducing the risk of food-borne illness in produce.
March 11, 2013
Opinion: "Op-ed: FDA Must Ensure Safety of Imported Food"
"Several months ago, my life was changed forever when I fell severely ill after eating imported ricotta cheese contaminated by the dangerous bacteria Listeria. Protections in a new U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) law could help prevent infections, like mine, from harming other Americans. But they need to be fully implemented to help anyone."
January 16, 2013
"FDA: Plain Sense is the Key for New Food Safety Guidelines"
"The new food safety guidelines proposed for the people who supply the nation's food, including farmers and manufacturers, are a good preventative step toward a healthy America. The new guidelines are the outgrowth of the Food Safety Modernization Act passed in early 2011, and are aimed at preventing foodborne illness in the United States.
January 16, 2013
"Improving Food Safety Essential"
"The announcement earlier this month of proposed federal food safety regulations certainly took long enough — the authorizing legislation, the Food Safety Modernization Act, was passed two years ago with bipartisan support. Between then and now, the nation has seen a number of incidents (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified 15 multistate outbreaks) in which thousands of people took ill, even died, because of illness carried in contaminated food."
January 16, 2013
"Time to Move on New Food Rules"
"America hasn't made major changes to its food-safety laws since the 1930s, so it probably should come as no surprise that - once a decision was finally made to update them - it took two more years to generate new regulations."
January 16, 2013
EDITORIAL: An Unconscionable Delay
"After two frustrating years of delay, the U.S. Food and Drug administration should soon have the power to prevent food-borne outbreaks rather than merely reacting to them."
January 15, 2013
"Putting a Price Tag on Safe Food"
In addition to the 3,000 deaths it causes each year, contaminated food is very expensive. The cost of food poisoning in this country comes to $14 billion a year, according to a July 2012 study published in the Journal of Food Protection, including the medical expenses of the 128,000 who are hospitalized annually. That figure does not include the millions of dollars that each food recall costs the company involved, the legal expenses from victims' lawsuits or losses incurred by other companies when consumers hear, for example, about contaminated cantaloupes and then avoid all cantaloupes, including those that are perfectly safe.
January 10, 2013
Editorial: "Late Better Than Never for New Food-Safety Rules"
"The Food and Drug Administration has proposed the most sweeping changes in food-safety rules in decades. The changes being made under the Food Safety Modernization Act, which became law in 2011, are long overdue and should be implemented as soon as possible."
January 08, 2013
"Safer Food Is on Its Way"
"On Friday, the FSMA moved a step closer to reality with the FDA’s announcement of proposed rules in two major areas: produce safety and food processing. The new rules will, if adopted, set standards for equipment, tools, buildings, water, soil and other sources of possible contamination."
January 02, 2013
''We Can't Wait for Stronger Food Safety''
"FSMA signals a much needed shift in FDA's approach to food safety. The focus is now on prevention - not reaction. There are provisions in the law designed to prevent outbreaks like the one that threatened Rylee's life. But food contamination continues to harm countless Americans because draft regulations have still not been implemented."
December 22, 2012
"Prevention Matters More Than Peanuts"
"The Food Safety Modernization Act should ease all parents’ concerns. The law grants the FDA more enforcement tools and greater authority to prevent — not just react to — food-borne outbreaks.
But the legislation is not enough."
December 04, 2012
"Looking for more food regulation success"
"All Americans, even those who rail about government’s regulatory overreach, would agree it’s critical to keep our food supply safe. That’s why it’s heartening that the Food and Drug Administration for the first time took action to shut down a peanut butter plant in New Mexico after it failed to clean up its act."
November 29, 2012
Editorial: "Safe peanut butter and beyond"
"The bins of peanuts outside were uncovered, food safety inspectors reported, allowing birds to do on them what birds do. Employees failed to wash their hands regularly or to practice other basic hygiene."
November 22, 2012
"Editorial: White House dallies on food-safety law"
"The Obama administration continues to drag its feet on a landmark consumer-protection law that could have made this week's Thanksgiving feast, leftovers and snacks considerably safer to eat."
October 12, 2012
"Schwarz: Food safety rules can save lives"
"My father, Paul, was a World War II veteran, double Purple Heart recipient, avid sports fan, and all-American hero. Tragically, it was a cantaloupe laced with the lethal bacteria listeria that ultimately killed him."
September 26, 2012
Urge Obama Administration to Act on Food Safety
President Obama signed sweeping food safety legislation into law more than a year ago, but his administration has yet to release draft rules for the key provisions of the act. Take action to urge the administration to act.
September 10, 2012
''Front & Center: Keeping an Eye on Food Supply"
The Orlando Sentinel asked Sandy Eskin, project director of the Food Safety Campaign with the Pew Health Group, about the latest foodborne illness outbreak and the legislation in limbo drafted to avert such tragedies
August 24, 2012
Editorial: "Food safety law is being delayed"
"The Food and Drug Administration is recalling cantaloupes grown in southern Indiana that may have been a source of a salmonella outbreak that has led to two deaths in Kentucky and sent 62 people to hospitals."
August 13, 2012
Editorial: "Rules Delayed, Governing Denied"
"It has been 19 months since President Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act, the first overhaul of the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety laws since the 1930s. But if you think the food supply has become markedly safer since then, think again."
August 12, 2012
Opinion: "Food safety delay puts lives at risk"
"It's been a year since a tragic listeria outbreak in cantaloupes began on a Colorado farm, claiming at least 30 lives and infecting nearly 150 people in the largest outbreak of foodborne illness in almost 90 years."
July 25, 2012
Editorial: "Washington's election-year paralysis hurts the nation"
"A federal food safety law shifting the government's focus from responding to dangerous contamination to preventing it has been heralded as the most sweeping food security reform in decades. But 18 months after the law was enacted, the rules needed to put it into effect are nowhere to be seen."
July 14, 2012
Opinion: "Food safety is still on the table"
"If you've never been touched by the debilitating-and, at times, deadly-effects of consuming contaminated food, count yourself among the fortunate. For me, these ongoing outbreaks hit close to home. In January 2009, my mother died in Ohio after eating contaminated peanut butter."
July 13, 2012
Opinion: "America is hungry for safer food"
"Over the past few months, foodborne illness outbreaks linked to E. coli and salmonella in seafood and produce have sickened hundreds of people nationwide and, tragically, killed at least two children."
June 06, 2012
Opinion: "Ignoring Salmonella Inexcusable"
Court records show managers at an Iowa egg farms knew its hens were "almost certainly" laying contaminated eggs months before one of the nation's largest outbreaks of food-borne illness.
May 22, 2012
Editorial: "OMB Should Release New Food Safety Rules"
"Six months ago, the Food and Drug Administration met the deadline set by Congress to complete a set of proposed rules for implementing the landmark Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010. It submitted those proposals to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review. They haven't been seen or heard of since."
May 19, 2012
Editorial: "Landmark Food Law in Political Limbo?"
"When President Barack Obama last year signed a bill hailed as a milestone in food safety, he stood at an exceedingly rare intersection where persuasive majorities of businesses, policymakers and consumers wanted the same thing."
May 01, 2012
Editorial: "Food Safety on Hold"
"While the first lady, Michelle Obama, champions the issue of healthy food, the rest of the administration does not seem to have gotten the message. There are now three important food issues on hold. And health and nutrition advocates worry that they are stalled for the election season, or longer, because of pushback from the food industry."
April 19, 2012
Editorial: "Raw need for food safety"
"A 20-state outbreak of salmonella, which includes Pennsylvania, demonstrates the pervasiveness of food-borne illness, the vast scope of the challenge to ensure safe food, and the federal government's slow pace of implementing reforms."
February 28, 2012
Editorial: "Safety Concerns Sprout up"
"Just when you thought you were doing a good thing for your health by adding more greenery to salads or sandwiches, food safety experts are cautioning against the consumption of raw sprouts."
January 24, 2012
Editorial: Food safety auditors too tied to industry
"The system has an inherent conflict of interest: While retailers generally require audits before buying from a supplier, the suppliers often hire and pay the auditors who evaluate them. It's like authors hiring their own book reviewers."
January 24, 2012
Opposing view: Food safety is more than about audits
"Food safety has always been the highest priority for the people who grow, ship and sell our nation's fresh fruits and vegetables. Recognizing there is no one solution, we take a holistic approach to food safety, constantly strengthening best practices, identifying knowledge gaps, creating new guidance on growing, handling and processing, and developing new "field to fork" training programs."
November 11, 2011
Editorial: "Listeria outbreak cries for changes, not hysteria"
"The cantaloupe-caused outbreak of listeria created a tragedy for those infected by the bacteria and for their families. As of the end of last month, the death toll had risen to 28, the number of reported illnesses had climbed to 133, and one infected woman miscarried."
October 27, 2011
Editorial: "Tainted fruit"
Unsanitary conditions at a Colorado processing plant led to the first U.S. case of listeria spreading via whole fruit.
October 18, 2011
Editorial: "Fully fund food safety"
"Among the hazards that face Americans each day, eating cantaloupe is low on the list for anyone who isn't allergic to it. Yet 23 people across the country died recently, and hundreds of others were sickened from eating cantaloupes contaminated by listeria."
October 14, 2011
Editorial: "Invest in what we eat"
"Cantaloupe is the latest food contamination scare for American consumers. With at least 23 deaths from listeria linked to Colorado cantaloupes, it is the deadliest U.S. outbreak of foodborne illness in a quarter-century."
August 16, 2011
Op-Ed: "Food safety system needs strengthening"
"The recent recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey potentially contaminated with a multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg is yet just another grim reminder that contaminated food continues to make its way into the marketplace and onto our dinner plates."
July 08, 2011
Editorial: "The food we eat"
Slashing food safety programs could reverse the downward trend of foodborne illness outbreaks in the U.S.
July 01, 2011
Editorial: "Food Fight"
"In 2008 and 2009, a salmonella outbreak at a south Georgia peanut processing factory killed nine people and sickened over 700."
June 26, 2011
Editorial: "GOP's food safety cuts put U.S. at risk"
"In a sop to industry disguised as a cost-cutting measure, GOP House members earlier this month gutted a food safety law designed to step up inspections, give the government more power to issue recalls and to require imported food to meet U.S. standards."
June 12, 2011
Editorial: "The poisoned plate"
The devastating impact of foodborne illness in the U.S. and abroad calls into question how safe our food really is.
June 07, 2011
Editorial: "Food safety"
"To date, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration believes that the deadly E. coli outbreak that has killed 22 people, 21 of them in Germany, has not affected the U.S. food supply."
January 09, 2011
Editorial: "Don't mess with food-safety law"
"The ink was barely dry on the food-safety bill President Barack Obama signed into law when some congressional Republicans began looking for ways to water it down."
December 13, 2010
Editorial: "Food for thought"
After decades of unchanging guidelines, Congress finally has acted to improve nutrition in school meals, and is poised to pass the first major update in food-safety rules in more than seven decades.
December 13, 2010
Editorial: "Food shouldn't make us sick"
Looking back at this age of the killer omelet, future historians may puzzle over Congress' long-standing inability to pass a food-safety bill.
December 08, 2010
Editorial: "Investing in food safety saves lives"
The last things we want to worry about over the holidays are food safety hazards, such as salmonella or E. coli in poultry, eggs, meat or peanut products, fruits and vegetables.
December 03, 2010
Op-ed: "We can't afford to ignore food safety"
The Senate passed last week the Food Safety Modernization Act that stiffens enforcement, tracking, inspections and gives the Food and Drug Administration recall power (that's right, the FDA only has the power to "ask" food items be recalled; it can't mandate).
December 01, 2010
Editorial: "Food safety bill won't hurt Vt. farms"
Local and organic food advocates in Vermont say a food safety bill that passed the Senate, Tuesday, offers protections for small-scale producers, while improving the safety of the nation's larger food system.
November 11, 2010
Editorial: "More rotten eggs"
Bad eggs are in the news again with the recall this week of more than a quarter of a million of them from eight states because of Salmonella concerns.
November 03, 2010
Editorial: "Food Safety on Washington's Plate"
Votes have been cast and as a mother (and wife and daughter and sister and friend and coworker), I’d like our elected leaders in Washington to make progress on issues, like spurring jobs growth, that impact families across the country.
September 05, 2010
Op-ed: "Egged on to a better food system"
Jennifer Wilkins of the Albany Times Union in New York describes how the recent outbreak of foodborne illness linked to contaminated eggs is drawing attention to the need for food safety reform.
August 27, 2010
Editorial: "Tainted eggs, broken system"
The Virginian-Pilot calls for legislators to take action on food safety reform in the wake of the recent Salmonella outbreak related to contaminated eggs.
August 26, 2010
Editorial: "Food fit to eat"
The Philadelphia Inquirer looks to the Senate to move forward with food safety legislation reform in the wake of the recent outbreak of Salmonella linked to eggs.
July 29, 2010
"Food safety reform could prevent illness"
History has shown that with warm weather comes an uptick in cases of foodborne illness. This year, however, the nation did not have to wait for the high temperatures to see a widespread outbreak.
July 29, 2010
"No more delays: Pass food-safety bill"
Eric Schlosser, documentary filmmaker and author of Fast Food Nation, recently sounded a dramatic alarm by noting that the annual national death toll from foodborne disease -- about 5,000 -- is about the same as the total number of Americans who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003.
July 24, 2010
"Unsafe at Any Meal"
Eric Schlosser, documentary filmmaker and author of Fast Food Nation, argues the number of people who are killed annually by something they ate is roughly the same as the number of Americans who've been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003.
June 15, 2010
"Our food system is failing us"
Amanda Hitt, food integrity campaign director of the Government Accountability Project, argues Americans must broaden their evaluation of food safety beyond the finished product.
May 20, 2010
"Saving lives with safe food"
Erik Olson, director of Food and Consumer Product Safety for the Pew Health Group, calls for a final vote in Congress to pass food safety legislation.
April 14, 2010
"Ensuring safe food"
The Battle Creek Enquirer argues that consumers deserve better protection.
April 12, 2010
"Stop use of antibiotics in food animals"
Elise Murphy of Chicago speaks up in support of The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming and asks our representatives to co-sponsor the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act.
March 29, 2010
"Federal food safety follies"
Charleston Post & Courier editorial argues legislation that could strengthen FDA's authority to prevent contamination via plant inspections fails to address the division of responsibilities between FDA and the Agriculture Department, which oversees meat inspection.
March 09, 2010
"Food safety's final mile"
Managing Director of Pew Health Group Shelley Hearne and Robert Brackett, top official from the Grocery Manufacturers of America, call for swift passage of congressional food-safety legislation.
March 08, 2010
"High cost of food-related illness"
The Chattanooga Times Free Press discusses the cost of foodborne illnesses in light of the new study puts, which estimates cost of the illnesses at about $152 billion a year in healthcare, worksite and other economic losses.
February 20, 2010
"If pepper's the culprit, who's to blame?"
The Oregonian Editorial Board examines the impact of the convoluted route of contaminated black pepper from Vietnam that found its way onto salami manufactured in Rhode Island and was shipped throughout the country.
February 10, 2010
"You are what you eat"
The Daily Camera explains why congress should strengthen food safety.
February 05, 2010
"Food safety concerns remain"
The Telegraph Herald discusses the Consumers Reports test of packaged salad greens, the Parkers Farm recall of contaminated peanut butter products and FDA's salmonella outbreak investigation.
January 30, 2010
"Public confidence in food supply is critical"
'New challenges, like finding salmonella in peanut butter and pot pies and E. coli O157 in cookie dough and lettuce have been surprises that have taxed food safety agencies.'
January 14, 2010
"Food safety still a concern"
The Tennessean remembers last year's salmonella outbreak, traced to peanuts, that killed at least nine people and left more than 700 sick, including at least 14 in Tennessee.
December 21, 2009
"The 76 Million Food Victims"
The New York Times critiques Congress' mandate, which requires food producers to register with the federal government in order to trace contaminants in the food supply.
December 14, 2009
"Overhaul of U.S. food safety system is overdue"
The Los Angeles Times states the facts: FDA oversight hasn't had a major revision for more than 50 years; farms are inspected about once a decade; about 1% of imported food is examined.
September 22, 2009
"Food safety net is torn, inefficient"
The Virginian-Pilot celebrates FDA's recently set-up electronic database, but continue to call for an overhaul of the outdated inspection process.
September 15, 2009
The Washington Post applauds FDA for instituting an online portal to flag contamination in the food supply before it has a chance to spread.
August 10, 2009
"Making the food supply safer"
The Oregonian lauds HR 2749 as finally giving the FDA, rather than manufacturers, the power to initiate recalls.
August 09, 2009
The Washington Post urges the Senate to quickly pass the Food Safety Enhancement Act.
August 06, 2009
"Striving for safer food"
The Las Vegas Sun praises the Food Safety Enhancement Act as the first step towards a safer food production system.
August 05, 2009
"Finally, action to protect our food"
St. Petersburg Times praises HR2749 as a step in the right direction and is encouraged by House Republicans who chose to stand with ordinary Americans instead of agribusinesses.
July 30, 2009
"Vote for Safer Food"
The New York Times stands behind the FDA, supporting claims that the agency has neither the tools nor the authority to do its job.
April 14, 2009
"Food Safety, One Pistachio at a Time"
The New York Times recognizes success in FDA's advisories to consumers to store or throw out pistachios while investigators figured out which products or nuts were tainted.
April 11, 2009
"On food safety, err on side of caution"
The Virginian-Pilot cautions consumers to avoid all brands of a contaminated product rather than risk eating something that will make them sick or worse.
February 16, 2009
The New York Times says Congress and the Obama administration must make food safety a serious priority.
February 07, 2009
"Questioning food safety"
The Plain Dealer shares anger towards inspectors from both the Georgia Department of Agriculture and FDA over the 2006 salmonella outbreak.
February 03, 2009
"FDA's plate full on food safety"
"The Denver Post explains how the latest salmonella outbreak is more proof that FDA doesn't have sufficient resources or staff.
January 14, 2009
"U.S. must beef up inspection, recall system"
Guest blogger Dr. Bill Paul, director of health for the Metro Public Health Department of Nashville/Davidson County, discusses the need for modernization of the U.S. food-safety system.