Entries in Food Safety and Modernization Act (2)


Epidemiologists Insist Speed is Vital in Contamination Outbreaks

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Epidemiologists say that officials need to be prepared to catch food-borne illnesses quickly, otherwise the results could be fatal and epidemic, HealthDay reports.

Dr. Casey Behravesh, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicated that the sooner authorities interview sick people, and determine what contaminated food they consumed, the sooner the source of the outbreak can be seized.

The difficulty of catching these potentially deadly outbreaks quickly is obtaining sufficient federal funding. The Food Safety Modernization Act was designed for U.S. Food and Drug Administration prevention of food-borne illnesses, but Congress still needs to rubber-stamp grants.

A salmonella outbreak in 2008 made 1,500 people ill and left two people dead.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama to Sign Food Safety Act into Law; Funding for Implementation Unclear with GOP in Control of House

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the head of the FDA held a conference call with reporters Monday on The Food Safety and Modernization Act, which the President will sign into law Tuesday. Secretary Sebelius said that the act would finally bring U.S. food safety laws up to date and help with efforts to keep the food supply safe as the number of foodborne diseases and outbreaks have increased in recent years. Sebelius said that in the 1990s there were about 100 foodborne outbreaks every year but that now there are an estimated 350 outbreaks every year in the United States.
Because of these increased outbreaks Sebelius said that it is estimated that one out of six Americans is struck with food-related illnesses every year and that as many as 3,000 people die each year from foodborne illness.
The key part of the act that was discussed on the call involved providing the FDA with mandatory recall authority and the ability of the FDA to access food producers' records. Asked on the call about the costs of implementing the act, FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said the estimated costs over five years to implement the act was $1.4 billion. It is unclear if the new incoming Republican Congress will fully fund the act’s implementation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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