What does the FDA do?
Not everything that glitters is gold Similarly, not everything that is sold in food packets is edible! But, how do we know? Well, you need not to, as long as Food and Drug Administration FDA is here.
The United States Food and Drug administration is a federal government agency of the Department of Health. The FDA is responsible for protecting public health by ensuring food and drug safety .
The FDA is authorized to monitor all food products , except meat poultry which are regulated by the state local agriculture department. It makes sure that the foods in its ambit are fit for consumption , wholesome and properly labeled .
The USA gov body supervises dietary supplements , pharmaceutical drugs , biological products and medical devices. It regulates the manufacture, distributing of tobacco products. The federal government agency also monitors the usage of tobacco products by the minors.
The United State Food and Drug Administration is mainly responsible for enforcement of Federal Food , Drug and Cosmetic Act. It also enforces section 361 of Public Health Service Act.
The FDA has over 200 field offices and 13 laboratories so to ensure a safe-to-consume food supply in the United States .
FDA maintains a list of additives that are used in food in the United States as well as a list of additives Generally Recognized as Safe. GRAS includes the chemicals or substances added to food that are considered safe by the experts.
The United State Food and Drug Administration plays an important role in promoting public health as it ensures more advance and safer medical equipment and drugs are brought to the market at an affordable price.
The Food and Drug administration is authorized to exercise food protection across 50 United States , Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and other US territories.
The FDA Food Safety Reforms
The United States Food and Drug Administration was set up almost 115 years ago in 1906. Since then, the federal government agency has undergone a lot of reforms. These reforms added more weapons to the arsenal of food and drug administration to fight for food protection .
One of the most important reforms was the FSMA Food Safety Modernization Act .
The Food Safety Modernization Act was signed in 2011 by then President Barack Obama. It regulates the food production and processing.
It can be difficult to know what to eat and how to stay safe.
You want to know what is safe and what isn’t, but the FDA doesn’t always make it easy.
Know more about Food Safety Modernization Act
The FSMA Act authorizes the Food And Drug Administration FDA to regulate the way food, fruits vegetables and cereals are grown , harvested and processed.
The Food Safety Modernization Act bestows FDA with some new powers that include mandatory recall authority.
The Food Safety Modernization Act was formed after millions of cases of foodborne disease were reported in early 2000s.
The Food Safety Modernization Act governs all aspects of the food system from farmers to food processing and manufacturing , food supply food additives and imported food .
The provisions include several rules and regulations on farmers and food processors to prevent food contamination .
The Food Safety Modernization Act is quite similar to the Food Safety Enhancement Act which passed the House in 2009. Apparently, it is considered the first major act of federal legislation to address the food protection since 1938.
How Food Safety Modernization Act makes your life safer?
1. It is to be noted that about 48 million people in the U.S. (1 in 6 people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne illness, shows the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. The Food Safety Modernization Act has shifted the focus from responding to foodborne illness to preventing it.
3. The Food Safety Modernization Act works on the principle that ensuring food protection and safety is a shared responsibility of all those involved in food business producers, manufacturers, marketers, importers, and exporters.
4. Food Safety Modernization Act mandates facilities that produce human and animal food must have food protection plans including an analysis of hazards and risk-based preventive controls to minimize them.
5. FSMA has given birth to more science-based, regulatory standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding fruits and vegetables.
6. Food Safety Modernization Act has tightened the noose around the importers. Importers are responsible for verifying if the food supply from foreign suppliers meets the new FDA safety standards, that are aimed at prevention.
All these rules are a step by federal state to ensure safe food, promoting public health. This delegation of responsibility ensures food safety is taken care of at every stage of the food chain. Now, farmers, transporters, and storage workers all are taking concrete steps to ensure food safety is not compromised.
Some other reforms by the Food and Drug Administration
In response to the initiative to ensure Safety of Imported and Domestic Fruits and Vegetables' by the then president Bill Clinton, the Food and Drug Adminstration , in 1998, had announced publication Guidance for Industry- Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. It led to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) certifications that became de facto industry requirements, however, were not enforceable.
The FDA has announced that they are going to be taking a more active approach in terms of food safety.
Now, the FDA is going to be able to regulate what goes into our food.
The United States Food and Drug Administration set up a branch organization Centre of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in 1984. This Centre of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, also known as CFSAN, looked after the nutritional aspect of the food.
Centre of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition is responsible for food labeling on wholesale and retail food products. It makes sure all ingredients used in the food can / bottle or box is specifically maintained, along with their composition are mentioned on the food labels. It helps consumers make an informed decision and avoid products that contain ingredients they are allergic to.
Conclusion on food safety
Food Safety is of utmost important. The safer food you eat, the healthier you are. The Food and Drug administration issues advisories from time to time on Food Safety .
Follow official website of the federal government and food and drug administration to read the latest guidance documents and regulatory information.
In case of any query, you can also contact FDA on their official website . Do not Skip Main page of the official website .
Apart from FDA, main other non-profit organizations like Centre for Food Safety (CFS), too are fighting for food protection and Food Safety in the United States . It has participated in legal action against manufacturers of genetically modified crops, citing its ill-effects on public health .
The FDA has been working to protect the public from food-borne illnesses.
The FDA has been trying to make food safety a priority, but it's hard to keep up with all the new regulations.