Iowa Senator and, until recently, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Tom Harkin has made a series of recommendations to strengthen Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recall authority and improve its effectiveness in monitoring food recalls, according to a news report.
This follows the report of the Office of Inspector General’s audit regarding FDA’s role in the 2007 petfood recalls, which stated the agency had not done enough to prevent the scandal involving 60-million containers of petfood in the US, most manufactured by Menu Foods and sold under 95 brand names.
FDA’s Principle Deputy Commissioner Joshua M. Sharfstein has admitted its “limited resources” were no match for a recall of unprecedented size and scope.
He also said the experience would lead to betterment of the organization’s efforts. One such development could be the FDA’s new Reportable Food Registry. Designed to alert FDA on food safety issues, the electronic portal went live September 8. Manufacturers are now required to report any food- or feed-product safety incident, via the portal, within 24 hours after determining that their products might sicken or kill animals or people.
Also, USDA and the United States Department of Health and Human Services announced September 9 that they have launched a new site designed to provide the latest on food safety and recall information, which will include petfood products.