Industry body welcomes US and Asia-Pacific food safety measures

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food safety, United states house of representatives

At the APEC meeting in Singapore, Robert Brackett of the GMA has applauded the founding of a food safety training network, just days after the organization praised the House for passing a landmark food safety bill.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), of which the US is a member, set up the Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN) in order to create a network of institutes that can provide training and share resources on international best food safety practices. The PTIN is not a binding agreement: APEC commitments are undertaken on a voluntary basis.

"The PTIN is another example of how the food industry is fully committed to working cooperatively with government and other stakeholders to enhance and modernize the global food safety system," ​said Brackett, chief science officer of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).

Meanwhile, there has been growing criticism within the food industry of the US food safety system for being ‘reactionary’ rather than preventative; that is, reacting to foodborne illness outbreaks rather than acting to test and potentially recall products before anyone becomes ill.

Brackett said: "Combined with food safety legislation just passed by the US House of Representatives that places prevention as the cornerstone of our food safety system and increased industry vigilance, the PTIN will help modernize our food safety system and bolster consumer confidence in the safety and security of the food supply globally."

“Restoring public faith”

Following the news that the Food Safety Enhancement Act had passed a vote in the House on Thursday, GMA president and CEO Pamela Bailey said: “This legislation will strengthen our nation’s food safety net by placing prevention as the cornerstone of our nation’s food safety strategy and providing FDA with the resources and authorities it needs to adequately fulfill its food safety mission.”

She urged the Senate to follow suit by passing its food safety legislation as soon as possible.

“Combined with increased industry resources and vigilance, this legislation represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to modernize our food safety system and restore the public’s faith in the safety and security of the food supply,”​ she said.

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