Several high-profile food safety issues involving salmonella contamination of peppers, tomatoes, peanuts, and pistachios have led to a call for strengthening food safety regulations. The Obama administration has established a new website devoted to food safety (www.foodsafety.gov) and created a new electronic database for manufacturers to use to report food safety issues, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has put into effect more stringent rules for reporting potential contaminations. In addition, the House of Representatives has drafted the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, which would create a Food Safety Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to consolidate food safety regulations under the secretary of Health and Human Services.
But will more regulations and a more centralized food safety bureaucracy make us safer? What kind of regulations and implementation mechanisms would best serve the public's desire for ensuring food safety?
AEI will host a panel discussion featuring David W. K. Acheson, former associate commissioner of food safety at the FDA and managing director of the Food and Import Safety Practice at Leavitt Partners; Carol Tucker Foreman, distinguished fellow and former director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America; Walter K. Olson, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute; and Michelle Worosz, assistant professor in the department of agricultural economics and rural sociology at Auburn University. Kenneth P. Green, a resident scholar at AEI, will moderate.