Tag Archives: food safety

Science Debate 2012: Food

The leading U.S. science and engineering organizations developed a list of 14 science policy questions facing the U.S. in 2012. You can read these questions–and the Presidential candidates’ answers–at ScienceDebate.org.

For each of the Science Debate 2012 questions, we’re going to provide you a selection of the authoritative and unbiased resources of the National Academies to help inform your response to the candidates’ answers. Today, we’re looking at this ScienceDebate question on Food:

Thanks to science and technology, the United States has the world’s most productive and diverse agricultural sector, yet many Americans are increasingly concerned about the health and safety of our food. The use of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, as well as animal diseases and even terrorism pose risks. What steps would you take to ensure the health, safety and productivity of America’s food supply?

How would you respond? Download these reports for free at NAP.edu or purchase a print copy to read.

Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century

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Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century598 pages | Paperback | Price: $58.50In the last 20 years, there has been a remarkable emergence of innovations and technological advances that are generating promising changes and opportunities for sustainable agriculture, yet at the same time the agricultural sector worldwide faces numerous… [more]
Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States

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Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States270 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.10Since genetically engineered (GE) crops were introduced in 1996, their use in the United States has grown rapidly, accounting for 80-90 percent of soybean, corn, and cotton acreage in 2009. To date, crops with traits that provide resistance to some herbicides… [more]
Ensuring Safe Foods and Medical Products Through Stronger Regulatory Systems Abroad

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Ensuring Safe Foods and Medical Products Through Stronger Regulatory Systems Abroad366 pages | Paperback | Price: $57.60A very high portion of the seafood we eat comes from abroad, mainly from China and Southeast Asia, and most of the active ingredients in medicines we take originate in other countries. Many low- and middle-income countries have lower labor costs and fewer and… [more]
Hunger and Obesity

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Hunger and Obesity: Understanding a Food Insecurity Paradigm: Workshop Summary240 pages | Paperback | Price: $46.35At some point during 2009, more than 17 million households in the United States had difficulty providing enough food for all their members because of a lack of resources. In more than one-third of these households, the food intake of some household members… [more]
Improving Food Safety Through a One Health Approach

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Improving Food Safety Through a One Health Approach: Workshop Summary418 pages | Paperback | Price: $66.60Globalization of the food supply has created conditions favorable for the emergence, reemergence, and spread of food-borne pathogens-compounding the challenge of anticipating, detecting, and effectively responding to food-borne threats to health. In the… [more]

Four New Science Books: Food Safety, Energy Efficiency, and more…

Last week brought us four new reports to the NAP site, including our featured publication in the Food and nutrition topic, Enhancing Food Safety, covering an important topic with a snappy book cover.

Featured Publication

Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration (prepublication)

Recent outbreaks of illnesses traced to contaminated sprouts and lettuce illustrate the holes that exist in the system for monitoring problems and preventing foodborne diseases. Although it is not solely responsible for ensuring the safety of the nation’s food supply, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees monitoring and intervention for 80 percent of the food supply. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s abilities to discover potential threats to food safety and prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness are hampered by impediments to efficient use of its limited resources and a piecemeal approach to gathering and using information on risks. Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration, a new book from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, responds to a congressional request for recommendations on how to close gaps in FDA’s food safety systems.

Enhancing Food Safety begins with a brief review of the Food Protection Plan (FPP), FDA’s food safety philosophy developed in 2007. The lack of sufficient detail and specific strategies in the FPP renders it ineffectual. The book stresses the need for FPP to evolve and be supported by the type of strategic planning described in these pages. It also explores the development and implementation of a stronger, more effective food safety system built on a risk-based approach to food safety management. Conclusions and recommendations include adopting a risk-based decision-making approach to food safety; creating a data surveillance and research infrastructure; integrating federal, state, and local government food safety programs; enhancing efficiency of inspections; and more.

Although food safety is the responsibility of everyone, from producers to consumers, the FDA and other regulatory agencies have an essential role. In many instances, the FDA must carry out this responsibility against a backdrop of multiple stakeholder interests, inadequate resources, and competing priorities. Of interest to the food production industry, consumer advocacy groups, health care professionals, and others, Enhancing Food Safety provides the FDA and Congress with a course of action that will enable the agency to become more efficient and effective in carrying out its food safety mission in a rapidly changing world.

All New Publications This Week

Persistent Forecasting of Disruptive Technologies–Report 2 (forthcoming)

Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States (final)

The Domestic and International Impacts of the 2009-H1N1 Influenza A Pandemic: Global Challenges, Global Solutions: Workshop Summary (final)

This Week’s New Publications (10/5-10/9)

Every Friday, we run down the publications that hit nap.edu in the past week. Every publication is available to read for free online, so follow the links to read them on our site.

Featured Publication

Approaches to Reducing the Use of Forced or Child Labor: Summary of a Workshop on Assessing Practice (final)



Globally, child labor and forced labor are widespread and complex problems. They are conceptually different phenomena, requiring different policy responses, though they may also overlap in practice. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) was designed to reduce the use of child and forced labor in the production of goods consumed in the United States. The Act was reauthorized in 2003, 2005, and 2008.

In response to provisions of TVPA, the the Bureau of International Labor Affairs requested that the National Research Council organize a two-day workshop. The workshop, summarized in this volume, discusses methods for identifying and organizing a standard set of practices that will reduce the likelihood that persons will use forced labor or child labor to produce goods, with a focus on business and governmental practices.

All Publications This Week

Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism (prepublication)

Review of the Methodology Proposed by the Food Safety and Inspection Service for Follow-up Surveillance of In-Commerce Businesses: A Letter Report (final)

Vital Statistics: Summary of a Workshop (final)

Letter Report to the U.S. Department of Education on the Race to the Top Fund (final)

Biographical Memoirs: V. 90 (final)

Sensing and Supporting Communications Capabilities for Special Operations Forces (final)

Toward a Universal Radio Frequency System for Special Operations Forces (final)