Experts agree on the need to overhaul regulation of US food supply
Roughly 76 million Americans suffer foodborne illnesses each year, 300,000 are hospitalize, and 5,000 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Most likely victims are children under four and adults over the age of 50.
One epidemiologist suggested that you can only "tell people so much to wash their cutting boards and wash their hands," while an FDA Commissioner suggests that as the food supply chain "gets longer and longer" the current system of regulation becomes increasingly inadequate, and more inspections are needed. 16 of every 100,000 people in the U.S. suffered laboratory-confirmed salmonella infections in 2008.
While the Department of Agriculture has made some improvement in the management of meat and poultry, experts concluded that the FDA had lost ground in the regulation of produce. Other experts have pointed to the inherent inefficiency of dividing regulation and inspection duties between these rival agencies.