Reforming Regulation of Food Safety
RFF First Wednesday Seminar
February 4, 2009
Foodborne pathogens are estimated to cause as many as 76 million illnesses and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. Recurring reports about tainted tomatoes, spinach, and other produce—as well as contaminated peanut products and fresh meats—alarm consumers and the food industry, and cause government officials to wonder if the U.S. food safety system is broken.
At a First Wednesday Seminar February 4, 2009, Resources for the Future convened several top experts in the field to discuss food safety policy and the challenges facing Congress and the Obama Administration in dealing with this issue.
The discussion, moderated by RFF Fellow Sandra Hoffmann, included the following panelistsGlenn Morris, Director, University of Florida Emerging Pathogens Institute; former Deputy Administrator for Public Health and Science, USDA Food Safety Inspection Service. (participated by phone)
Lisa Shames, Director of Food and Agriculture Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office
Michael Taylor, Research Professor, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services; former Deputy Commissioner for Policy, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; former Administrator, USDA Food Safety Inspection Service
Richard Williams, Managing Director of the Regulatory Studies Program and Government Accountability Project, Mercatus Center, George Mason University; former Director of Social Sciences, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration