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Increase the Dough for Safer Dough

In # 8: Food safety: who is responsible? by Madison1 Comment

Dear Editor, Out of all of the ways our government spends money, the one that impacts all citizens every day does not receive funds to do the job right. Now I’m not suggesting that we downsize the Department of Defense or the Department of Justice or something incredibly integral to the functioning of American society as a whole, but I do believe that food safety is very important to citizens and therefore the government (by default). Every year, foodborne illnesses cause sickness in an estimated 48 million Americans. 128,000 people are hospitalized, and 3,000 individuals die each year from foodborne illness. Of the 48 million cases of sickness, only about 9.4 million are due to recognized pathogens. These 31 pathogens are known to cause foodborne illness. However, the remaining 38.4 million cases of foodborne illness are caused by unspecified agents. These could include anything from microbes to chemicals as well as other substances whose effects in food have not yet been determined. We only know the true cause of twenty percent of foodborne illness cases. Extensive research is needed to …

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Letter to the Editor

In # 8: Food safety: who is responsible? by Sydney1 Comment

Dear Editor, Every year food outbreaks occur. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there are 250 identified foodborne diseases and that list is still growing. The CDC estimates 48 million people get sick due to foodborne illnesses, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year. So, why is food safety underfunded and who is responsible for this? This is a question by many researchers and it needs to be addressed. The current budget is $25-30 million, which isn’t near enough. The problem with the FDA is that it is so underfunded and there aren’t enough people there to actually monitor at the kind of level that we really need to to understand what’s in our food (Firger 2015). The USDA needs to come up with a way to put more money into food safety research. Food safety is a major concern for people around the world, specifically in the United States. Due to reoccurring outbreaks, distrust has occurred between many Americans and their food producers. Stop Foodborne Illness is a nonprofit organization that dedicates its time to …

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Worth the Price

In # 8: Food safety: who is responsible? by Therese0 Comments

The government exists ultimately to aid and protect the people of this country. One of the most fundamental ways they can do this is by protecting those people “three times a day” by making sure that the food they buy, sell, and feed to their loved ones is safe. While the government has provided invaluable research and funding, there’s always more that can be done. Of course, money is tight everywhere, but a few minor cuts here and there could provide some much-needed funding for the FDA, USDA and other important agencies to make lifesaving changes to the way people prepare and serve food. There is a fairly large knowledge base when it comes to food pathogens and how to kill them. The real issue, however, comes from mishandling of food. Many cases of food poisoning can be avoided if a food is stored or cooked properly. More thorough education of consumers and kitchen professionals could certainly help decrease incidences of food borne illness. I believe that the most effective way that the government could protect consumers is by regulating …

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Give Me the Money Sonny

In # 8: Food safety: who is responsible? by Trace0 Comments

  Dear Secretary of the USDA, Sonny Perdue, It has come to my attention that the operating budget for research in the area of food safety is a mere $25-30 million. To the average citizen, this seems an extreme amount, but to an educated food scientist knowledgeable about such things, that is not nearly enough. The United States spends an average of $150 million a year on food poisoning claims. That is 5-6 times the amount we are spending on research. I believe that the USDA should make more of a priority in research, and consider it an investment opportunity for the betterment of the country. These are my reasonings. On the USDA website, there is a list of twenty five of the top prioritized research areas. I think it is great that there are priorities like this laid out for the public to see, but upon reading over the content of your priorities, I noticed that the majority of them include the screening and detection of foodborne pathogens. This is incredibly important  I understand, but I think that an …

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Funding makes Food more Fun

In # 8: Food safety: who is responsible? by Kiera0 Comments

Dear editor Dean Friggenschmitter, I am writing to you today because we do not have enough funding for the USDA food safety research. I believe that it is necessary for the government to help out with these funds since it affects all people in the long run. People are getting sick and dying from these outbreaks. In order to prevent these illnesses from breaking out it is important to get more funding. Having safe food to eat is a huge priority to all mankind. Not only does it come back to the food safety department when something goes wrong, but also the government for not supporting enough funding in order to prevent these outbreaks. According to the information I have been provided with, “the budget for 2018 is approximately $25-30 million” which is not that much money when you think about it. This money goes towards research in order to find out what is wrong and or what needs to be fixed in foods in order to ensure that they are safe for consumers to consume. But once there is …

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How much is food safety worth?

In # 8: Food safety: who is responsible? by Tyler0 Comments

Dear Editor, under the circumstances we currently live in today people are becoming ill or even dying do to the unsafety of food and the negligence of necessary precautions we should be taking to fix these issues and assure they never happen. Food safety is becoming a major issue in the US and if we want to improve the situation we currently live in, we must pay more attention to food safety and find ways to solve the matter. These precautions and solutions we need to implement require funds. Funds that aren’t currently available. If we want to make a change the budget must be increased. According to the CDC over 48 million people become ill from foodborne illnesses, 128,000 become hospitalized, and around 3000 die every year. These kind of numbers are dangerously high and if we choice to expand the budget for USDA research these numbers can be lowered in time. If we choose to continue to ignore the situation these numbers will continue to rise and the problems will only worsen over time. The fact that companies …

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Letter to the Editor

In # 8: Food safety: who is responsible? by Emily0 Comments

Dear Editor, It is time the USDA increases the budget for food safety research. Each year, 3,000 people die from food borne illness. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016) Not only are food borne illnesses devastating to one’s health, but they come with high medical costs as well if you are hospitalized. The USDA even says that food borne illnesses cause a loss of more than $15 billion in medical expenses, productivity losses, and premature death. If the USDA added $15 billion to food safety research and saved those 3,000 lives that account for all that money loss, then the money would balance out. Spend $15 billion more on research, gain approx. $15 billion back reducing food borne illness costs, it makes sense to me. This country’s “food safety system” consists of producers, processors, shippers, retailers, food preparers, and consumers. That’s a lot of areas where things could easily go wrong and mistakes could be made. Federal Regulatory programs can only do so much. The more research put into the safety of each of the specific areas, can have …

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Raise Budget to Support Food Safety Research

In # 8: Food safety: who is responsible? by Danyan0 Comments

Dear Editor, According to the present circumstances, the most important issue in food science and technology is food safety. Although the United States Department of Agriculture invests funding in supporting food safety research, food safety problem still a common phenomenon and serious public health concern in our society nowadays. If we want to improve the situation, inevitably, the government should pay more attention to food safety and the USDA food safety research budget should be increased. Based on the data we received, it is estimated that more than 33 million people suffered foodborne illness each year in the United States. However, not only that, more than 9000 people’s lives had been taken away by foodborne illness every year. (University of Rhode Island Food Safety Education, 2017) Along with this line of consideration, it also consumed amounts of capital in lost wage, insurance claims, and medical bills. Furthermore, the event of food recalls is frequently happening in recent years. Given the facts as mentioned above, it shows that food safety is facing severe challenges and should be noteworthy by the government. …

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More USD for the USDA

In # 8: Food safety: who is responsible? by Chloe0 Comments

Dear Editor, In my opinion the budget for the USDA should be expanded. One of the major concerns that the modern American has, is the safety of their food. This safe food movement, has lead to changes in the food industry such as GMO free, clean labeling, and the creation of a whole new sector of the market comprised of organic foods. The increasingly immunocompromised populace is fearful and distrustful of the food industry and has turned in response pseudoscience to clear their troubled minds. The only way to ensure that the American populace stays safe is by expanding the USDA. Historically, adulteration and misbranding of products was common, it was one of the common risks in everyday life. However, no laws were enacted to protect consumers until 1862 when Lincoln formed the USDA. Even after it’s formation very little in the market changed until 1883 when Harvey Wiley became the chief chemist within the USDA and started campaigning for the Pure Food and Drug Act, which would not be enacted until 1906 with the publication of Upton Sinclair’s The …