Food Safety: FDA Can Better Oversee Food Imports by Assessing and Leveraging Other Countries' Oversight Resources

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "We identified five major actions the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to complete under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) to establish a reliable system that uses third-party audits conducted by foreign governments or other third parties to help ensure food safety. FDA officials and others report that each of these actions presents challenges that must be addressed. First, FDA is to develop new preventive controls and related guidance for all of the foods under its jurisdiction--such as produce, milk, cheese, spices, soft drinks, ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 28, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "We identified five major actions the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to complete under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) to establish a reliable system that uses third-party audits conducted by foreign governments or other third parties to help ensure food safety. FDA officials and others report that each of these actions presents challenges that must be addressed. First, FDA is to develop new preventive controls and related guidance for all of the foods under its jurisdiction--such as produce, milk, cheese, spices, soft drinks, and processed foods--and will need to develop appropriate training, particularly for foreign producers and processors, which poses a challenge because FDA is responsible for a variety of food industries. Second, FDA is to establish a voluntary user fee program for importers that encourages the use of third-party certifications, and it faces a challenge in developing a program that encourages importers to participate. Third, FDA has to develop a system for recognizing accreditation bodies that can accredit third parties to certify foreign food facilities and is likely to face a challenge in addressing foreign governments' concerns about being evaluated by an entity other than FDA. Fourth, FDA is to develop model standards for accreditation bodies to use in evaluating and accrediting third parties and faces challenges in, among other things, determining third-party auditors' competency and deciding on how to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Fifth, FDA is to oversee the third-party accreditation system, including periodically evaluating accreditation bodies and third parties, and faces a challenge in deciding the level of oversight it will provide to the multiple parties involved in third-party certification."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 28, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Food Safety: FDA Can Better Oversee Food Imports by Assessing and Leveraging Other Countries' Oversight Resources, report, September 28, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301303/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.