Written by Harley Hodge
Everyone has heard the stories about mad cow disease and other food-borne diseases coming into the United States from countries such as United Kingdom and China. Besides that locally, foodborne illnesses are among the top of deaths within the United States. Cause of these deaths, most could be prevented if better rules and regulations were in place federally and locally in the United States. In this paper I will be discussing insight on how the US Government can improve the effectiveness of state and local food safety programs.
Food safety responsibilities at the state and local levels reside in too many agencies (health, agricultural, industry, etc.) With all of these agencies it is hard for all of them to cooperate together when detecting and reporting said incidences to the federal level. Without an effort to build a comprehensive national regulation that cover the three basic elements of prevention, detection, and rapid response.
When it comes to the area of surveillance, there is a lack in the communication chain between federal agencies, state, and local health agencies. A good example of this lack of surveillance was back in 2008, when Federal Drug Administration found traces of melamine in infant milk products. However, the FDA concluded melamine or cyanuric acid alone, "at or below 1 part per million in infant formula do not raise public health concerns" in babies. (2008 Chinese milk scandal) Melamine is a toxic chemical that can be harmful if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. According to FDA scientists, melamine can be absorbed into the blood stream forming clots that can cause kidneys to malfunction. United States FDA’s limit was put at 0.63 mg, but was later reduced to 0.063 mg daily. The World Health Organization’s food safety director estimated that the amount of melamine a person could stand per day without incurring a bigger health risk, the "tolerable daily intake"...