A stark report on the shortcomings of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will drop in the November issue of Bloomberg Markets. According to the piece, the food industry has largely been responsible for its own inspections for the past two decades.
This comes on the heels of a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article that reported seafood from Vietnam and China can often be contaminated with bacteria and salmonella. The article also points out that we source 27% of our seafood from China and the FDA only inspects about a fraction—2.7 percent—of it.
Every year, 48 million Americans contract some type of food-borne illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 128,000 of them need to be hospitalized and worse, an estimated 3,000 people die as a result.
Passed in 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act allows the federal agency to shift some of the inspections to private companies.
The FDA is seeking to regain its footing amidst all the problems with outsourced inspections, but not without the aid of $3 billion first.
Meanwhile, the food industry has put a law in place that endows auditors and foreign governments with more say “in vetting producers and distributors of food bound for the U.S.”
[via Bloomberg Markets]