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Farm Service Agency: USDA launches food safety Web site

By Theresa L. Mathews

Article from www.theadvertiser.com

Responding to President Barack Obama's directive to upgrade the nation's food safety system, the White House Food Safety Working Group, led by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, launched a Web site to provide information about the group's activities and progress.

"The Working Group will be an important tool for gathering ideas as to how we can strengthen the food safety system to be more accountable and accessible to the public it protects, flexible enough to quickly resolve new safety challenges that emerge, and able to meet the robust needs of our rapidly changing world," Vilsack said.

"Families have enough to worry about. You shouldn't have to wonder if the food you buy at the grocery store is safe," Secretary Sebelius said. "Our Working Group is working hard to modernize our food safety system and protect the American people. The Web site will help ensure all Americans can share their thoughts and contribute to this important process."

The Web site, www.foodsafety workinggroup.gov will be an important resource for people who want to learn about the current food safety network as well as stakeholders and organizations that are working to upgrade America's food safety system for the 21st century. The Web site features social bookmarking tools including an RSS feed and a widget that can be downloaded to help stay informed.

Last week, representatives from the White House Food Safety Working Group met and outlined principles to meet the president's goal. In the weeks to come, the Food Safety Working Group will provide additional opportunities to engage stakeholders in conversations and help shape these principles.

A comprehensive approach to an improved national food safety system links regulatory actions and public health outcomes. This approach focuses resources according to risk, applies the best available science and high quality data to the decision-making process, and strives for seamless coordination among federal agencies and their state, local and international public health partners.

Theresa L. Mathews is County Executive Director of the local Farm Service Agency for Lafayette and St. Martin Parishes. She can be reached at 262-6601.

 

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