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