HOT TOPICS I July 12 I 12:00-1:00 I Oakes 007
How Safe Is That Shrimp?

David Wirth presenting. Fifteen percent of the U.S. food supply is imported, yet only 2% of imported seafood is inspected and 0.1% tested, creating serious risks of outbreaks of foodborne disease. Hear how the new Food Safety Modernization Act addresses this major challenge through the controversial use of private auditors instead of government inspectors.

Like Tuesday’s presentation, today’s hot topic lecture also relates to food.

The “Food Safety Modernization Act” was signed into law on January 4, 2011. In order to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe, the FSMA shifts the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it.

As the FSMA became law very recently it is not surprising that we have no books on this topic in the collection; the Food and Drug Administration has created an extensive web site which includes links to the full text of the law, background on the FSMA, As the administrative rules on the FSMA developed there exists a substantial docket open for comments.

The Act enhances the FDA’s oversight of food imports. The FDA web site points out that 60 percent of fresh fruit and vegetables and 60 percent of seafood are imported. To ensure the safety of imported food, among other conditions, the FSMA provides a mechanism for refusing admission to the US if the foreign facility or foreign country refuses to allow FDA inspection. To assist in compliance translations of major FSMA resources into French, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Thai, Japanese and Korean are available.