FDA awards $31 million in food safety grants to 43 states
FDA has awarded $31 million to 43 states to support multiyear plans for produce safety systems, education, outreach and technical assistance to prevent foodborne illnesses, according to a statement made by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
The funding provided to states that support the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will also highlight various farming operations and foster programs that will promote the state-specific needs of farming communities.
“This new law is transforming our food safety system from one that responds to contamination to one that prevents it in the first place,” Gottlieb said in the statement. “This change cannot happen without the support of our state partners who are helping food producers and growers understand and achieve the new requirements promulgated at Congress’ direction.”
The organization reports that 3,000 American deaths — and additional hospitalizations and illnesses — are a result of foodborne illnesses annually, despite the current safety of food supplies. The FSMA ensures that minimum standards supported by science are implemented for safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables for human consumption.
Gottlieb said the allocation of funds, which is the largest in FDA history, will help to renovate and reinforce the organization’s risk-based approach to the oversight of food safety through the FSMA.
“We all want the same thing: safe produce that our families can eat with confidence,” Gottlieb said. “We want to help deliver the economic and public health benefits that come when consumers know that produce is overseen by a modern, gold standard system for ensuring its safety.”