The functions of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service that regulate meat, poultry and egg safety may be merged with the part of the US Food and Drug Administration that regulates the rest of the food supply.
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said that it may be due time that a single US government agency handle food safety issues as currently the job of meat and poultry safety is with the USDA, but the FDA handles most everything else.
Reports state that every agriculture secretary in the past 3 decades has rejected the single agency handling food safety, but Secretary Vilsack suggests that a single agency may be the way to go.
“There are 325,000 people in this country that are hospitalized every year for food-borne illnesses and countless millions that have problems that they don’t even realize are connected to their food supply,” Vilsack said. “That suggests to us that we’ve got an issue and we’re the only industrialized country in the world, to my knowledge, that has two separate departments handling this very important responsibility.”