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FDA Touts Efforts to Enhance Food Safety

December 2, 2008
by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter
HealthDay

Responding to criticism that it has done a poor job safeguarding the nation's food supply, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a report Monday detailing its efforts to protect consumers.

Among the most important changes in 2008 was the agency's initiative to build better relationships with state and local health departments to protect the food supply, said Dr. David Acheson, assistant commissioner for food protection at the FDA.

Jeffrey Levi is an associate professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, and a senior policy advisor to the consumer group Trust for America's Health. He said the new FDA report fails to offer enough guidance for what needs to be done to protect the food supply.

"The report does not rise to the level of providing a roadmap for the next administration about the challenges ahead, the resources that will be needed, and the milestones against which we can measure progress," Levi said.

The challenges to food safety are growing, Levi said. "Especially as we import more food, especially as the food-production system becomes more complex, we need a system that keeps up with that," he said.

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