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By Stephanie Stahl
December 19, 2022 / 7:19 PM / CBS Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Major changes are needed to ensure food safety in the United States, according to a new report.
An independent expert panel says the FDA needs to enhance a variety of food safety programs and it says the agency should focus more on prevention instead of reacting after there’s a problem.
The country’s food supply is generally recognized as safe, but an estimated 48 million people get sick from foodborne illnesses every year in the U.S., according to the CDC.
For one example, reports of led to a recall nearly a year ago. That made the supply chain shortage of formula even worse and extended to other brands.
One formula maker said the shortage is likely to persist until spring.
“Being assured that we have a safe food supply is important to everyone,” Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Jane Henney, said.
Henney chaired an independent expert panel that conducted an evaluation into the human foods program, which is overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an agency she once led.
Henney says there are three major findings in the report:
“More prone to action than deliberation, if you will,” Henney said.
The report says connecting FDA technology for better communication is key.
Henney says there also needs to be more funding for the human foods program.
“Getting the adequate amount of funding for this program is just, I’ve used the word crucial and I’d underscore it again,” Henney said.
The current FDA commissioner says the agency will have a reaction to the panel’s suggestions by the end of January and will provide additional updates at the end of February, including any changes it will make.
Stephanie Stahl is an Emmy Award-winning health reporter. She can be seen daily on CBS3 Eyewitness News and The CW Philly.
First published on December 19, 2022 / 7:19 PM
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