In some areas pertaining to the food industry, the U.S. is apparently winning: out of a duel between the EU and the U.S., the U.S. wins a “gold medal” for food safety in an informal Food Safety Olympics.
Jennifer McEntire, the chief science officer for consulting firm The Acheson Group, compared issues of Campylobacteriosis, Salmonellois, Listeriosis, and pathogenic E. coli between the U.S. and the 27 countries monitored by the European Food Safety Authority.
The great news is, when it comes to illness rates from food, we have relatively low rates of these food safety problems.
Okay, I hope you celebrated there for a moment, because it’s now time for the bad news, Green Monsters.
What if we considered how the U.S. ranks in terms of food transparency?
Then, my friends, we probably wouldn’t even make it to the Olympics…let alone score a medal. We’re failing. We’re behind. Put simply, our labels are not nearly as transparent as other countries.
Currently, 64 other countries from around the world require labeling of GMO foods so its citizens can be told the whole story about the foods they consume. And the EU has strict mandates and monitoring on GMO foods, while the U.S. simply doesn’t have any. And, other countries even do a better job of showing other issues of food transparency: take, for example, the U.K. mandates for food labeling. The country even stipulates that labels should include “a warning if the product has been radiated” and “the words ‘packaged in a protective atmosphere’ if the food is packaged using a packaging gas.”
Letting consumers know if their food has been genetically altered, radiated, and gassed? Now, that’s transparency we just don’t see in the U.S. right now. But it’s transparency we need.
Contact the FDA today and tell them: we are failing at food transparency! Let’s take a cue from other countries around the globe and at least show up at the transparency Olympics the next go around.
Image source: Tim Hipps / Wikimedia Commons