Families, Health Advocates Urge Obama to Act on Food Safety

Publication: Reuters

Author: Lily Kuo


07/17/2012 - Families, public health advocates and consumer groups called on the White House on Tuesday to implement delayed provisions in a food safety law they say would help prevent some of the nearly 3,000 deaths caused by food-borne illnesses each year.

Families of victims who have died from food-borne illnesses and consumer and health organizations wrote a letter to President Barack Obama calling on him push forward provisions of a food safety law signed last year that would regulate food imports, produce and packaged food against possible contamination.

The Food Safety Modernization Act was the first food safety overhaul in over 70 years, and without the implementation of these provisions most of the U.S. food system continues to operate under what public health advocates say are outdated laws.

These rules would help prevent food-borne outbreaks such as one last year when listeria-contaminated cantaloupe killed over 30 people, said Erik Olson, director for food programs at the Pew Health Group.

"With our current food system it only takes one part of that food system to contaminate a huge amount of food," Olson said. "We're concerned that the longer these rules take to get out we're just going to continue having these kinds of outbreaks."

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Read the full article, Families, Health Advocates Urge Obama to Act on Food Safety, on Reuters' website.

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