Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Centre for Science and the Public Interest White Paper

The Centre for Science and the Public Interest in Washington, DC, has put out a sensible and realistic set of recommendations needed to reform the FDA.

"Building a Modern Food Safety System" discusses five points that need to be addressed for creating an effective food safety system for both human and pet food. It's obvious that the FDA is broken and needs major reforms. According to the authors, this would include:

-- Recalls -- The FDA currently doesn't have the power to issue product recalls (these rights have been left exclusively in the hands of the multinational corporations that make products);
-- Traceback -- The FDA has been unable to find the source of the tainted glutens in the pet food recall -- authority needs to be put into place to allow them to be able to quickly trace the source of contaminants
-- Detention -- If a product doesn't comply with regulations, then it should not enter into the food supply system (sounds obvious but there is no regulation governing this)
--Civil and Criminal Penalties -- Food companies must be subject to swift civil and criminal penalties if they violate food safety laws. Citizens who have suffered harm as a result of any violations should have the power to launch civil actions
--Whistleblower protection -- Federal employees should be able to report violations without the threat of loss of employment or any penalties

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