CHICAGO, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT)
called for a single federal agency with responsibility for shell egg safety.
A single egg safety agency is essential for the prevention of foodborne
disease in shell eggs. The single agency would have clearly established roles
and responsibilities. It would be empowered with regulatory authority as well
as enforcement powers. The agency would create regulations addressing egg
safety issues from farm to table.
"Clearly, the current federal food safety system is complex, fragmented,
and cumbersome with at least 12 agencies involved in the key functions of
safety" stated Richard Wood, FACT's Executive Director. "This state of
affairs is untenable and must be changed," he said.
"The regulatory response to shell eggs illustrates the need for change,"
states FACT's testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government
Management, Restructuring and the District of Columbia which is evaluating the
federal response to egg safety. "To the extent that there are regulations
governing shell eggs, no one agency oversees the safety of eggs. Instead, at
least three agencies are involved. This situation has resulted in
inconsistent food safety policy decisions," FACT states.
While the USDA has the authority to grade eggs, the FDA is the agency
required to perform tracebacks of foodborne illness outbreaks. According to
FACT, this situation results in confusion for producers as it is unclear who
creates the rules that must be followed with regard to egg production and
processing. For consumers, the confusion lies in determining who is
responsible for protecting them from unsafe eggs. FACT wants a food safety
system where it is clear who is responsible for regulating food production.
FACT is a non-profit organization that advocates for better farming
practices that will protect human health, improve the safety of meat, milk,
and eggs and promote the humane husbandry of food animals.
SOURCE Food Animal Concerns Trust