Ensuring Imported Food Safety

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"U.S. Food Safety: The Import Alarm Keeps Sounding" [usnews.com] draws attention to public concerns about the safety of our food supply, particularly as it relates to imported foods.

The United States enjoys the safest food supply in the world, but it is clear more needs to be done to protect American consumers. The food industry strongly believes that prevention is the foundation of improving the safety of our food supply. But it will take a cooperative effort—a partnership—between the food industry and the U.S. government to strengthen, modernize and improve the systems that oversee imported and domestic foods. The Grocery Manufacturers Association's "Four Pillars of Imported Food Safety" proposal, put forward last year, calls on federal agencies to focus on prevention as the essential weapon against food-borne illnesses. It invites U.S. and foreign governmental leaders to engage in a higher and more effective level of partnership with the food industry to ensure the safety standards American consumers expect and demand. We believe that imported foods must meet Food & Drug Administration standards for safety and quality, and companies that import food into the U.S. must have plan in place to assure that happens. And we believe the FDA must be given the resources it needs to fulfill its critical food safety mission, which is why we support a doubling of the current FDA budget. Consumers have the right to safe food.

Cal Dooley

President and CEO
Grocery Manufacturers Association