FDA Seeks Food Reform

The federal Food and Drug Administration is pushing for a series of reforms seeking to limit the spread of foodborne illnesses.

The last few years have seen a series of major foodborne illnesses spread across the country. The most recent and devastating was a listeria outbreak linked to a cantaloupe farm from the Rocky Ford region of Colorado. The outbreak resulted in 30 confirmed deaths and 146 confirmed illnesses, the worst foodborne illness outbreak in the United States.

The FDA’s proposed Food Safety Modernization would require food-producing businesses to develop a formal plan to reduce the spread of foodborne illnesses. In addition, the act would create new requirements for farmers to limit the spread of tainted food.

“The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act is a common-sense law that shifts the food safety focus from reactive to preventive,” federal Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a recent news release.

Despite the potential for increased government regulation, many farmers believe that this new act will do little to affect their businesses. “My feeling is it probably is not going to have a wide-reaching effect here in this county,” said one North Carolina farmer.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer