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Recipe for Safe Food
CSPI Calls for More Solutions, Instead of More Studies
Top officials in the Clinton administration agreed with the National Academy of Sciences today that in the federal government, there is no one person or single agency in charge of food safety. Food safety functions are scattered among government agencies like gold coins at Mardi Gras. The federal food safety system is both ineffective and inefficient at addressing todays complex food safety problems.
While the Presidents Council endorses the NAS recommendation to create a uniform and central framework for managing federal food safety programs, one that is headed by a single official, it fails to respond to calls for a single food safety agency from consumer groups and members of Congress. Instead, the Council promises to study the existing weaknesses and develop additional recommendations.
By endorsing the findings of the NAS study, the Presidents Council confirms that gaps and weaknesses in federal programs exacerbate food safety problems, resulting in continuing deaths and illnesses from contaminated food. Presidential leadership is clearly needed if we are to overcome Washington turf battles, and get more solutions, instead of more studies.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest is a nonprofit health-advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. It is well-known for advocating improved food-inspection programs and safer food additives. CSPI is supported largely by the one million U.S. and Canadian subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter.
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