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Federal Oversight of Food Safety: High-Risk Designation Can Bring Needed Attention to Fragmented System
David M. Walker (au)
Each year, about 76 million people contract a foodborne illness in the U.S.; about 325,000 require hospitalization; & about 5,000 die. While the recent E. coli outbreaks highlighted the risks posed by accidental contamination, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, heightened awareness that the food supply could also be vulnerable to deliberate contamination. This testimony focuses on the: (1) role that GAO’s high-risk series can play in raising the priority & visibility of the need to transform fed. oversight of food safety; (2) fragmented nature of fed. oversight of food safety; & (3) need to address fed. oversight of food safety as a 21st century challenge. This work is based on previously issued reports. Includes recommendations. Charts & tables.
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