GAO Looks at Food Safety Oversight

FDA must follow through on positive first steps.

Published on: Jan 31, 2008

The Government Accountability Office has released a report reviewing federal oversight for food safety. It found that the Food and Drug Administration needs to utilize its resources more efficiently because while the workload regarding food safety in the past ten years has increased, staff and funding have not increased at the same pace.

Overlapping inspections by FDA and USDA was another finding of the GAO report. Their recommendation is that FDA commission USDA inspectors at certain facilities to reduce overlap.

FDA's Food Protection Plan that was released in November 2007 makes some positive first steps toward enhancing food safety according to GAO. However, additional funding will be needed to have the capacity to carry them out. Without a clear description of resources and strategies, it will be difficult for Congress to assess the likelihood of the plan’s success in achieving its intended results.

For a complete look at the GAO Food Oversight Report, click HERE.