President Plans Team to Overhaul Food Safety - NYTimes.com

March 14, 2009 by RecallAware
Filed under: Food, Legislation 

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President Plans Team to Overhaul Food Safety - NYTimes.com
Describing the government’s failure to inspect 95 percent of food processing plants as “a hazard to the public health,” President Obama promised Saturday to bolster and reorganize the nation’s fractured food-safety system.

Each year, about 76 million people in the United States are sickened by contaminated food, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and about 5,000 die, public health experts estimate.

The Obama administration’s 2010 budget will propose spending more than $1 billion on food-safety efforts, nearly double the amount spent in 2007. The money will pay for increased inspections, domestic surveillance, laboratory capacity and illness prevention efforts.

The F.D.A. has estimated that inspecting all 150,000 domestic food facilities once every four years would cost $1.9 billion annually. Inspecting the 216,000 foreign food plants registered with the F.D.A. would cost far more.

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