Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, (D-Conn.) have pressed for a single food safety agency instead of the dual system in the U.S. right now - the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates most foods, while the Department of Agriculture is responsible for meat, poultry and egg safety.
The audit examined how six countries, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the E.U., reorganized food safety systems to work more efficiently. The GAO found that those nations do things better by taking a "farm to table approach."
The study also touched on themes that are part of the current food safety debate, namely the inability to quickly track bad food and order companies to conduct recalls. Under current law, recalls are voluntary.
"Several of the selected countries reported that three elements of their food safety systems are critical in helping them respond to outbreaks of food borne illness," The GAO stated. "These elements are trace-back procedures, cooperative arrangements between government veterinarians and public health officials, and mandatory recall authority.
Aporte: Karen Gonzalez