Who Is Responsible For Food Safety?

Food safety has become a fast growing issue across the United States because of the high levels of GMO and the fatalities of consumers. There have been incidents where the consumer has not received justice from the companies. The government has protected the big corporations leaving the consumers to question, who will protect their rights? Who will ensure food safety? The food production corporations should ensure food safety for consumers which should be monitored by the Food and Drug Administration.

Food production corporations should ensure food safety since they are responsible for the consequences that consumers encounter after consuming their product. There have been consumers who have died because of an E. coli infection that has occurred through the contamination of feces of an animal in the food being produced. Foodborne diseases have caused an estimate of “6 million to 81 million illnesses and up to 9,000 deaths each year (EIDJ).” These corporations need to take action and be monitored by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Food and Drug Administration should enforce caution for food corporations when producing goods for the consumers. The “FDA-regulated products have almost tripled from 2004 to 2014, rising to about 33 million” (IFS). This increase of FDA influence upon the food products can promote a form of assurance of the food corporations making changes to their productions and have them become more cautious about the chemicals utilized. The FDA is working on protecting the American consumer and “implementing historic new food safety laws” (IFS). The administration is part of the food system and provides a safety net for consumers and will trial these large corporations demanding change.

The large corporations can escape the responsibility of the negative effects of their produce by blaming the consumers. However, there is only so much a consumer can do to ensure food safety. Buying at farmers’ markets can be extremely expensive, thus making most Americans rely on the large food industries to provide clean, healthy, and good produce (CPH). Furthermore, with the increase in supply and demand “Controlling human pathogens on fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts is imperative” (CA) yet it seems like a rather impossible task with the pressure of industry and government sources. This leaves for the public to rely not only on the honesty and caution of these corporations but the FDA to mandate regulations.

In conclusion the food industries need to take responsibility for the negative outcomes that have occurred because of their product and be regulated by the FDA to ensure the public’s health. The government has not been much help when having past corporations trialed for these foodborne illnesses, but with the help of new regulations and the FDA there shall be more caution when using chemicals. These large corporations need to change their form of production and follow these mandated laws that the FDA has instilled to protect the public’s health.

– Melany Suarez

1. Baur, Patrick, et al. “Inconsistent Food Safety Pressures Complicate Environmental Conservation for California Produce Growers.” California Agriculture, vol. 70, no. 3, Jul-Sep2016, pp. 142-151. EBSCOhost, doi:10.3733/ca.2016a0006.

2. Taylor, Michael R. and Howard R. Sklamberg. “Internationalizing Food Safety: FDA’s Role in the Global Food System.” Harvard International Review, vol. 37, no. 3, Spring2016, pp. 32-37. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.southern.edu/login?qurl=http%3a%2f%2fse

3. “Food-Related Illness and Death in the United States – Volume 5, Number 5-October 1999 – Emerging Infectious Disease journal – CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 Dec. 2010. Web. 7 Apr. 2017.

4. Meah, Angela. “Still Blaming the Consumer? Geographies of Responsibility in Domestic Food Safety Practices.” Critical Public Health, vol. 24, no. 1, Mar. 2014, pp. 88-103. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/09581596.2013.791387.

5. Fig. 1 “Cooking Tumblr.” Lowephotos.info. Accessed April 18, 2017.

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