Safe Food Project

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Our priorities are the food safety programs run by the federal government. We provide research-based recommendations and analysis to the agencies that regulate food safety and to the lawmakers who provide oversight and funding for their programs.

Keep Public Health the Focus of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act

The Food and Drug Administration’s food safety program, which oversees about 80 percent of the U.S. food supply, or almost everything except meat and poultry, will undergo crucial changes in 2015 and 2016. During this period, the agency must issue final regulations to implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which requires building stronger oversight systems for domestic and imported products. FSMA, which was enacted by Congress and the president in 2011, is the first major update to the FDA’s food safety authority in more than 70 years and shifts the agency’s focus from responding to safety problems to preventing them.
Pew is working with the food industry, public health groups, and consumer advocates to ensure that:

  • The FDA issues well-designed regulations under FSMA that protect Americans’ health.
  • Congress provides the agency with the funding necessary to create the modern food safety oversight system envisioned by the law.

Explore Ways to Enhance Meat and Poultry Safety

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s meat and poultry safety program is governed by decades-old laws that do not adequately protect the public from harmful contaminants that are of greatest concern today. For example, the agency’s inspection methods were developed in the early 1900s and are not sufficient to detect microscopic hazards in our food such as bacteria and viruses. Pew is examining meat and poultry laws to determine whether they, along with policies developed by federal regulators, need to be modernized. We are working with other stakeholders—public health experts, consumer advocacy groups, food producers, and retailers—to identify changes that would make oversight systems more focused on risks to human health and grounded in science.


Improving the Safety of Produce and Processed Food

A collection of Pew resources.

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Advancing Meat and Poultry Safety

A collection of Pew resources.

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Media Contact

Matt Mulkey

Manager, Communications