oversight

Food Safety and Quality: Who Does What in the Federal Government

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-12-21.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

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                                                          FOOD SAFETY
                                                          AND QUALITY
                                                          Who Does What in the
                                                          Federal Government

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                                                  RESTRICTED--      Not to be released outside t .
                                                  General Accounthg Office unless specifically
                                                  approved by the Office of Congressional
                                                  Relations.

                                                                                                    I
(;AO/K(‘ISl)-!)I-I!)A
                     United States
GAO                  General Accounting  Office
                     Washington, D.C. 20648

                     Resources, Community,   and
                     Economic Development    Division

                     B-240663
                     December 21,lQQO

                     The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy
                     Chairman, Committee on Agriculture,
                       Nutrition and Forestry
                     United States Senate
                     The Honorable Tom Harkin
                     United States Senate
                     The Honorable Dennis E. Eckart
                     House of Representatives
                     This report responds to your requests to provide an overall perspective
                     on federal efforts to ensure food safety and quality. For the purposes of
                     our review, we defined food safety activities as those carried out to
                     ensure that food is safe, sanitary, wholesome, and properly labeled.
                     Food quality activities are defined as those establishing standards of
                     quality and condition, grading food products according to the standards,
                     certifying that food products ‘meetthe standards, and inspecting food
                     products for compliance with the standards.
                     As agreed with your offices, this report provides information on (1) the
                     statutory responsibilities, programs, activities, staffing, and budgets of
                     the federal agenciesinvolved with food safety and quality; (2) the inter-
                     agency agreementsused by the agenciesto cooperate in meeting their
                     statutory duties; (3) the ways in which funding and staffing levels have
                     changed during the 1980s relative to the agencies’work loads; and (4)
                     the issues that federal officials believe will be critical for food safety
                     and quality in the 1990s. As agreed, we did not evaluate how well the
                     agenciescarried out their responsibilities or whether there was duplica-
                     tion of effort or gaps in coverage among agencies.

                   . The fragmented, complex federal food safety and quality regulatory
Results in Brief     system consists of as many as 35 different laws and involves 12 federal
                     agencies.Of the 12 agencies,6 have the major roles in carrying out food
                     safety and quality activities. They are the Food and Drug Administra-
                     tion (FDA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human
                     Services (HHS); the US. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural
                     Marketing Service (AMS), Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS), and
                     Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS); the Environmental Protec-
                     tion Agency (EPA); and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS),


                     Page 1                       GAO/RCED-91-19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Program
               which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Collectively,
               these agencies are responsible for assuring the consumer that foods
               are pure and wholesome, safe to eat, and produced under sanitary
               conditions. In fiscal year 1989 these six agencies devoted over $800,
               million and almost 17,000 staff years to their food safety and quality
               activities. FDA and USDAtogether had about 92 percent of the funding
               and about 96 percent of the staffing.
             . The fragmentation of responsibility for carrying out food safety and
               quality laws has required extensive efforts by federal regulatory agen-
               cies to coordinate their activities. We identified 51 different interagency
               agreementsinvolving the six agenciesdirected at avoiding wasteful
               duplication of effort, preventing gaps in coverage,and avoiding con-
               flicting actions.
             l The four agenciesthat had comparable data-EPA, FDA,FGIS,and FSIS-
               had less staff and less funds (in constant dollars) available to carry out
               their food safety and quality activities in fiscal year 1989 compared
               with 1980. Moreover, all four agenciesgenerally had larger work loads
               related to food safety and quality in fiscal year 1989 than in 1980. Two
               agencies-AMs and NMPs-did not have comparable data for their food
               safety and quality activities for fiscal years 1980 and 1989. However,
               available data for AMSshow that funding (in constant dollars) decreased
               from fiscal year 1980 to 1989 and that staffing decreasedfrom fiscal
               year 1986 to 1989. NMFS’   funding data for the early 1980swere not
               available. However, NMFS’    staffing level increased between the early
               1980s and 1989, while the amount of seafood it inspected decreased
               between 1981 and 1989. We did not evaluate the impact that the
               changesin funding, staffing, and work load had on the effectiveness of
               the agencies’food safety and quality activities.
             . Officials of the agenciesgenerally agreed that microbiological contami-
               nation (e.g., bacteria and viruses) and pesticide/chemical contamination
               of foods will be the critical food safety and quality issuesof the 1990s.
               Beyond these two issues,concernswere focused primarily on issuesthat
               pertained to each agency’s area of jurisdiction or responsibility.

                 USDAestimates that U.S. consumerspurchased about $513 billion worth
Background       of food in 1989. Federal laws place on manufacturers the basic responsi-
                 bility for processingfood under sanitary conditions and for producing
                 wholesome and safe products. But consumersalso rely on the US. food
        ”        safety and quality regulatory system, which includes state, local, fed-
                 eral, and international agencies,to ensure the quality and safety of food
                 products. Becauseof the combined efforts of the food industry and the
                 regulatory agencies,the U.S. food supply is generally recognizedas one


                 Page 2                   GAO/RCED-91-19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Programs
                         of the safest in the world. Nonetheless,the Centers for DiseaseControl
                         estimates that about 6 million casesof illness and 9,000 deaths from
                         foodborne diseaseoccur each year in the United States.

                         Federal legislation regulating food safety and quality has evolved piece-
                         meal over many decadesto address particular risks to public health. For
                         example, the first federal comprehensivefood law-the Pure Food and
                         Drug Act-became law in 1906. This act and other old food safety and
                         quality statutes have been amendedover time and new legislation has
                         been enacted to address specific concerns about the safety of the food
                         supply, such as the use of chemicals to color and preserve food, the use
                         of drugs in food animals, the large-scaleuse of pesticides on food crops,
                         and technological changesin handling, processing,and packaging food.

                         The six agenciesperform a broad array of activities relating to food reg-
The Federal Food         ulation. Their programs
Safety and Quality
Regulatory System Is l
                         set standards for what processedfoods should contain;
                         approve facilities, equipment, and processesused in preparing foods;
Complex and          :   approve additives, animal drugs, or pesticides before their marketing or
Fragmented           .
                         use;
                         set tolerances for acceptableamounts of pesticides and other chemical
                         residues in food;
                     .   inspect food and food processingfacilities, including testing food for
                         illegal residues;
                     .   determine what information labels should contain and what packaging
                         is acceptable;and
                     l   monitor state and local inspection programs for food retail and service
                         establishments.
                         In carrying out their legislative responsibilities, the six agenciesoften
                         perform similar types of activities. For example, most agenciesconduct
                         food-related research, inspect food processingestablishments,collect
                         and analyze food samplesfor pesticide and other chemical contami-
                         nants, and develop food standards. Their specific responsibilities are as
                         follows:
                     .   FDAensures that domestic and imported food products (except for meat
                         and poultry products) are safe, sanitary, nutritious, and wholesome and
                         are honestly labeled. FDA shares responsibility for egg products with




                         Page 9                   GAO/lZCED91-19A   Federal Food Safety and Qua.lIty Programs
    AMS;  the latter agency inspects egg products plants, while FDA has juris-
    diction over restaurants, food-manufacturing plants, and similar estab-
    lishments that serve eggs or use them in their products, FDA is also
    responsible for pre-approval and surveillance of animal drugs and food
    additives in feeds marketed in interstate commerce.
l   FSIS ensures that meat and poultry products moving in interstate and
    foreign commerce for use as human food are safe, wholesome, and cor-
    rectly marked, labeled, and packaged.
l   AMSensures the safety of shell eggsmoving in consumer channels and
    egg products produced by processing plants involved in intrastate, inter-
    state, and foreign commerce.AMS also performs food quality services
    such as commodity standardization, inspection, and grading services
    upon request for dairy, egg, fruit, meat, poultry, and vegetable products.
l   FGIS inspects corn, sorghum, and rice for aflatoxin (a natural contami-
    nant considered to be carcinogenic) as well as the quality of domestic
    and exported grain, rice, and related commodities.
.   EPA regulates all pesticide products sold or distributed in the United
    States and establishes tolerances (maximum legal limits) for pesticide
    residues in or on food commodities and animal feed.
l   NMFS   conducts a voluntary seafood inspection and grading program,
    which is primarily a food quality activity, and performs research on sea-
    food safety.

    The federal resources devoted to food safety and quality activities vary
    considerably among the six agencies.Table 1 shows their fiscal year
    1989 funding and staffing levels. FSIS-the largest in terms of resources
    used-accounted for about 66 percent of the total funds and 62 percent
    of the total staff years used by these agenciesin fiscal year 1989. In con-
    trast, FDA’Sshare amounted to about 19 percent of the total funds and
    about 14 percent of the staff years. NMFS had the least resources,
    accounting for only about 1.6 percent of both the total funds and total
    staff years.




    Page 4                   GAO/RCJDQl-19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Programe
                                          B-240663




                                                                  .
Table 1: 81x Phnolpal Federal Agencies’
Flrcal Year 1989 Fundlng and Staffing     Dollars in millions
Level8                                                                    FY 1989 funding                  FY 1969 staffing
                                          Agency                        Amount       Percent             Number        Percent
                                          FSIS                              $457          55.7             10,399            61.7
                                          FDA                                158          19.2              2,337            13.8
                                          AMS                                 97          11.8              2,372            14.1
                                          EPA                                 55           6.7                624             3.7
                                          FGIS                                42           5.1                860             5.1
                                          NMFS                                12           1.5                265             1.6
                                          Total                            $821          100.0            16.657            100.0


                                          To facilitate the use of the information we developed on federal efforts
                                          to ensure food safety and quality, we compiled several summary tables
                                          that characterize these activities in different ways. We have included
                                          these tables as appendixes to this report. Appendix I lists the principal
                                          food safety and quality legislation and the federal agenciesresponsible
                                          for implementing the legislation. Appendix II provides major provisions
                                          of principal food safety and quality legislation. Appendix III provides
                                          information on the legislative responsibilities, programs, and fiscal year
                                          1989 staffing and funding levels for the principal agencies.Appendix IV
                                          lists food safety and quality activities carried out by federal agencies.
                                          Appendix V shows which agenciesregulate, monitor, or perform quality
                                          grading services for various food industries.

                                          In light of the many laws and agenciesinvolved in regulating the U.S.
Federal Interagency                       food supply, it is essential that the federal government coordinate its
Coordination Is                           activities. Coordination is needed, among other things, to help ensure
Extensive                                 effective use of resources,avoid duplication of effort, prevent gaps in
                                          coverage,and avoid conflicting actions.
                                          According to our analysis, 61 written interagency agreementsare aimed
                                          at addressing potential problems in federal food safety and quality. The
                                          agreementsvary in scope,detail, and number of agenciesinvolved. For
                                          example, some are between two agenciesand are lim ited in scope,such
                                          as the agreementbetween AMS and FDAinvolving the effective control of
                                          the aflatoxin problem in peanuts destined for consumerconsumption.
                                          Other agreementsare with several agenciesand are broader in scope,
                                          such as the agreementamong AMS, EPA, FDA, and FSISconcerning residues
                                          of drugs, pesticides, and environmental contaminants in food. (Seeapp.
                                          VI for examples of the agreements.)



                                          Page 6                      GAO/WED-91-19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Programm
    These interagency agreementsare necessaryfor a variety of reasons.
    The following two examples illustrate the nature of the agreements:
. EPAhas statutory responsibility for establishing tolerances for pesticide
  residues on food and animal feeds, while FDAis responsible for estab-
  lishing tolerances for other chemical residues on food. Statutory respon-
  sibility for enforcing the tolerances is vested in FSISfor meat and poultry
  products, AMYfor egg products, and FDA for all other foods. AMS, EPA, FDA,
  and FSIShave an interagency agreementthat establishesthe.working
  relationships for promoting more effective, efficient, and coordinated
  federal regulatory activities concerning residues that may adulterate
  food, EPA is to notify FDAand USDAof any pesticide use it encounters that
  may have resulted in residues that adulterate human food or animal
  feed. FDAis to notify (1) EPA of possible misuse of pesticides or chemical
  substancesthat may indicate a violation of EPA'S laws and (2) USDAof
  illegal residues of drugs, pesticides, or environmental contaminants in
  human food or animal feed that indicate that the residues may also be
  present in meat, poultry, or egg products. USDA is to notify FDA of find-
  ings of illegal residues in edible meat, poultry, or egg products and to
  keep FLN and EPA informed of all FSISand AMS sampling and testing pro-
  grams for illegal residues.
l Fishery products plants that are under NMFS voluntary inspection con-
  tracts are also subject to FDAinspection under the Federal Food, Drug,
  and CosmeticAct. The agreement covering these plants provides that
  NMFSis to apply appropriate FDArequirements pertaining to good manu-
  facturing practices, labeling, food additives, tolerances, standards of
  identity, minimum quality, and fill of containers. NMF$ is to notify FDA if
  inspections reveal violations of mandatory FDA requirements, and FDAis
  to notify NMFSof any official FDAactions to seizefishery products
  processedor packed in NMFB-inspected      plants.
    FE@had the most interagency agreementsbecauseit is responsible for
    the safety of most food types and uses the personnel and results of
    other federal agency inspection and quality-grading programs to help
    carry out its food safety mission. In fiscal year 1989 FDA had 2’7inter-
    agency agreementsrelating to food safety and quality with other federal
    agencies,primarily UsnA.




    Page6                   GAO/lUXD-@1-19A   Fedeml Food Safety and Quality   Programs
                           B-240063




                           Available data show that the resources of four agencieshave decreased
Federal Resources          since 1980 while their work loads related to food safety and quality
Have Decreased While       have increased. We requested that the six agenciesprovide data on their
Work    Loads
InCreased
              Have
           in the 1 g80S
                           food safety and quality resources and inspection activities for fiscal
                           years 1980439.Four agencies-EPA, FDA, FWS, and MS-were able to pro-
                           vide us with comparable staffing and funding data for 1980 and 1989 to
                           allow a comparison of the resources available for those 2 years. (App.
                           VII provides the details of the data submitted.)
                           Each of the four agencieshad less staff available to carry out its food
                           safety and quality activities in fiscal year 1989 than in 1980. FGIS had
                           about 58 percent less, EPA about 17 percent less, FDA about 8 percent
                           less, and ISIS about 6 percent less staff in fiscal year 1989 than in 1980.
                           Although EPA, FDA, and FGIS had smaller staffs in fiscal year 1989 than in
                           1980, their staffs have increased since fiscal year 1985.
                           Each of the four agenciesalso had less funds (in constant 1989 dollars)
                           available in fiscal year 1989 than in 1980. FGIS had about SOpercent less
                           funds, EPA and FDAeach about 8 percent less, and FSIS about 3 percent
                           less.
                           Despite less staff and less funds in fiscal year 1989, these four agencies
                           generally had larger work loads in fiscal year 1989 than in 1980. For
                           example, IBIS inspected about 38 percent more pounds of meat and
                           poultry products and analyzed about 182 percent more laboratory sam-
                           ples in fiscal year 1989 than in 1980. FGIS inspected about 7 percent
                           more tons of grain in fiscal year 1989 than in 1980.
                           Two agencies,AMS and NMFS, did not have comparable data for their food
                           safety and quality activities for fiscal years 1980 and 1989, principally
                           becauseof changesin organization and/or responsibilities or the
                           destruction of data pursuant to agency records retention guidelines.
                           However, available data for AMS' two largest programs, which accounted
                           for about 96 percent of the agency’s fiscal year 1989 funding, show that
                           AMS’funding decreasedabout 6 percent (in constant dollars) from fiscal
                           year 1980 to 1989 and that its staffing decreasedabout 3 percent from
                           fiscal year 1986 to 1989. NMFS' funding data for the early 1980s were
                           not available. However, NMFS' direct inspection staff increased about 30
                           percent from the early 1980s to 1989. During this time the average
                           number of plants participating in the voluntary seafood inspection pro-
                           gram increased by about 50 percent, while the pounds of seafood NMFS
                           inspected decreasedabout 10 percent from 1981 to 1989.



                           Page 7                   GAO/RCED-91.19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Programs
                            When asked what they believed would be the critical food safety and
Critical Food Safety        quality issues of the 199Os,officials of the six agenciesmost often men-
and Quality Issues of       tioned microbiological contamination and pesticide/chemical contamina-
the 1990s -                 tion of foods, Several agenciesalso expressed concern about issues such
                            as the safety of new food processing technology; the safety of new tech-
                            nology such as vacuum and modified-atmosphere packaging; nutritional
                            and other product labeling; and the public’s perception of food safety.
                            In addition to broader issues,most agencieswere concerned about crit-
                            ical food safety and quality issues that pertained to their areas of juris-
                            diction or responsibility. For example, NMFS was concerned about
                            adequate water of acceptable quality in seafood processing facilities. EPA
                            had several issues relating to the present law governing pesticide regula-
                            tion, such as the need for improved authority to remove questionable
                            pesticides from the market; and enhanced enforcement authority. (See
                            app. VIII.)

                            In addition to the six major agencies,six other federal agenciescarry out
Other Federal               important, but less significant, food safety and quality activities. Their
Agencies Involved           responsibilities and the fiscal year 1989 funding and staff years for the
With Food Safety and        three agenciesable to identify the amount of resources devoted to food
                            safety and quality follow:
Quality
                        . USDA’S Agricultural ResearchService (ARS) performs food safety
                          research, such as developing a methodology for detecting and control-
                          ling bacterial contamination of meat and poultry products. During fiscal
                          year 1989 ARS used 168 scientist years and about $25 million for food
                          safety and quality activities.
                        l USDA'S Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) protects the
                          nation’s animal and plant resources from diseasesand pests that indi-
                          rectly affect food safety.
                        . The Treasury Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
                          enforces the laws that cover the production, distribution, and labeling of
                          alcoholic beverages,except wine beveragesthat contain less than 7 per-
                          cent alcohol, which are the responsibility of FDA. By agreement with FDA
                          the Bureau also has primary federal responsibility for ensuring the
                          safety of alcoholic beverages.
                        . The Treasury Department’s Customs Service assists other federal food
                          safety and quality agenciesin carrying out their responsibilities relating
                          to imported foods, such as collecting samplesof imports.
                        . HHS' Centers for DiseaseControl engagesin public health activities
                          related to food safety and quality, such as monitoring, identifying, and


                            Page 8                   GAO/RCED-91.19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Programs
                  B240063




                  investigating foodborne disease problems to determine their contrib-
                  uting factors. In fiscal year 1989 the Centers for Disease Control
                  used about 25 staff years and about $2.6 million for food safety and
                  quality activities.
              l   The Federal Trade Commission regulates food advertising. In fiscal year
                  1989 the Federal Trade Commission used about 29 staff years and about
                  $2 million for food safety and quality activities.


                  To accomplish our objectives, we discussedwith officials of each federal
Scope and         agency included in our review its food safety and quality activities. We
Methodology       also gathered from the agenciestheir budget data and other program
                  information relating to food safety and quality.

                  Although other federal agenciesare involved with food safety and
                  quality activities, we determined that the 12 agenciesdiscussedin this
                  report had the most significant roles. Our methodology for determining
                  which agenciesto include was based on identifying (1) the principal fed-
                  eral food safety and quality legislation, (2) the agenciesresponsible for
                  implementing the legislation, and (3) the agencieswith which the imple-
                  menting agenciescoordinated their activities.

                  We made our review from June 1989 through June 1990 in accordance
                  with generally accepted government auditing standards. We did not
                  verify the accuracy of the data and information the agenciesprovided to
                  us becauseof the enormous volume provided.
                  We discussedthe information contained in this report with responsible
                  AMS, EPA, FDA, FGIS, ISIS, and NMFS officials, who generally agreed with the
                  f+cts. Their comments have been incorporated into the report where
                  appropriate. As requested, we did not obtain official agency comments
                  on the report.

                  Appendix IX to this report discussesfederal food safety and quality
                  activities for meat and poultry products to illustrate the complexity and
                  fragmentation of the federal system for regulating food safety and
                  quality. A companion volume to this report, Food Safety and Quality:
                  Who Does What in the Federal Government (GAOIRCED-91-iSB), presents
                  more details on the food safety and quality activities of the 12 federal
                  agenciesdiscussedin this volume. Information is included on (1) major
                  legislation, (2) organizational units and responsibilities, (3) program
                  activities, (4) funding levels, (5) staffing levels, (6) agreementswith


                  Page 9                    GAO/RCED-91-19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Programs
other federal agencies,and (7) critical food safety and quality issuesof
the 1990s.
As arranged with your offices, unless you publicly announceits contents
earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days from
the date of this letter. At that time, we will send copies to the Secretary
of Agriculture; the Secretary of Commerce;the Secretary of Health and
Human Services;the Commissioner,Food and Drug Administration; the
Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency; and other interested
parties.
Pleasecall me on (202) 275-5138 if you have any questions concerning
the report. Other major contributors to this report are listed in
appendix X.




John W. Harman
Director, Food and
  Agriculture Issues




Page 10                  GAO/RCED-91.19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Programs
Page 11   GAO/RCED-9149A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Pmgrama
Letter
Appendix I                                                                                  16
Principal Food Safety
and Quality
Legislation and
Federal Agencies
Responsible for
Implementation
Appendix II
Major Provisions of
Principal Food Safety
and Quality
Legislation
Appendix III
Responsibilities,
Funding, and Staffing
of Principal Federal
Agencies Involved
With Food Safety and
Quality
Appendix IV                                                                                 22
Types of Food Safety
and Quality Activities
Carried Out by
Principal Federal
Agencies *



                         Page 12   GAO/NED-91-19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Prorprme
Appendix V                                                                                  23
Federal Agencies
Responsible for
Regulating,
Monitoring, or
Performing Quality
Grading Services for
Various Food
Industries
Appendix VI                                                                                 24
Examples of Federal
Interagency
Agreements Relating
to Food Safety and
Quality
Appendix VII                                                                                25
Changes in Staffing
and Funding Levels of
Principal Federal
Agencies Involved
With Food Safety and
Quality Activities,
Fiscal Years 1980,
1985, and 1989




                        Page 13   GAO/RCED91-19A   Federal had   StUety and Quality   Programe
                         C4mtenta




Appendix VIII                                                                                               26
Critical Food Safety
Issues of the 1990s as
Perceived by Officials
of Principal Federal
Agencies
Appendix IX                                                                                                 27
Federal Food Safety      Size and Makeup of the Meat and Poultry Industry                                   27
                         Federal Legislative Responsibilities                                               27
and Quality Activities   Major Federal Activities                                                           29
Relating to Meat and     Federal Interagency Agreements                                                     29
Poultry Products         Relationship to State Inspection Programs                                          30
                         Critical Food Safety Issues of the 1990s                                           30

Appendix X                                                                                                  32
Major Contributors to
This Report
Table                    Table 1: Six Principal Federal Agencies’Fiscal Year 1989
                             Funding and Staffing Levels




                         Page 14                 GAO/RCJSD-91.19A   Federal Faod Safety and Quality   Program8
Content6




Abbreviations

AMA        Agricultural Marketing Act
AMS        Agricultural Marketing Service
APHIS      Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
ARS        Agricultural ResearchService
CDC        Centers for DiseaseControl
EPA        Environmental Protection Agency
EPIA       Egg Products Inspection Act
FDA        Food and Drug Administration
FFDCA      Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
FGIS       Federal Grain Inspection Service
FIFRA      Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act
FMIA       Federal Meat Inspection Act
ISIS       Food Safety and Inspection Service
FY         fiscal year
GAO        General Accounting Office
HHS        Department of Health and Human Services
NMFS       National Marine Fisheries Service
NOAA       National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
PHSA       Public Health Service Act
PPIA       Poultry Products Inspection Act
USDA       U.S. Department of Agriculture
USGSA      U.S. Grain Standards Act


Page 15                   GAO/RCED-91-19A   Federal Foad Safety and Quality   Frogcanw
Appendix I

principal Food Safety and Quality Legislation
and FederalAgenciesResponsible
for Implementation
                                                                                                                                   USDA
LegislatiotV                                                                                                   FDA      AMS         FGIS       FSIS       EPA         NMFS
Agncultural              Marketing           Act of 1946 (AMA)                                                     .       X           x              l         l              X
_. r..   _...... -._._. II_.___-..    -- L_
Agricultural             Marketing           Agreement Act of 1937                                                 .       x               .          .         .                  .
_-...-._-- .-_-_                   --_-.____
Egg      Products             Inspection         Act (EPIA)                                                       X        x               .          .         .                  .
- __- - ._..__.         _______~_
Federal Anti-Tampering Act                                                                                        X        x               l      x             ’                  l


Federal          Food, Drug, .-_.         and ___-__.
                                                Cosmetic Act (FFDCA)                                              x            .        .             .     x                      .
 _ ..- .._.._.. --.-l__.“.--__-
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)                                                        .           .        .             .     x                      l


Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA)                                                                                 .           .        .         x             l                  l


Federal          Import        Milk Act                                                                           x            .        .          .            .                  .
  __..- ._.._I ._.....  -.---._-.         .-_._.-__ -..--__-
Infant     Formula             Act     of  1960                                                                   x            .        .          .            .                  ;
-...-_-.-.               ._. -__--. ~-..---___-___-
Lacev Act                                                                                                          .           .        .          .            .           X
Maanuson Fisherv Conservation and Manaaement Act                                                                   .           .        .          .            .            X
                                                                                                                   .           .        .          .            .           X
- _....-.-__--Ocean Pollution
National                                  -...---Research_-. and Development and Monitoring Planning Act
Pesticide Monitoring Improvements Act                                                                             )(           .        .          .            .             .
Poultry         Products                                                                                           .           .        .         x             .        --a
 . .. . - ..__..     . ..*“.“--.- Inspection
                                      .-.. ._------ Act (PPIA)
Public Health Service Act (PHSA)                                                                                  x            .        .          .            .             .
Safe Drinking Water Act                                                                                           x            .        .          .        x                      l


Toxic Substances Control Act                                                                                       .           .        .          .        x                      l


US Grain Standards Act (USGSA)                                                                                     .           .       x.9                      .                  .

                                                             aThis lists 18 of the principal laws administered by these six agencies, which also administer 10 other
                                                             less significant food safety and quality laws.




                                                             Page 16                                  GAO/RCED-91-19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality             Frograms
Appendix II

Major Provisions of Principal Food Safety and
&uality Legislation

                The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 authorizes the Secretary of
                Agriculture to provide services upon request to inspect, certify, and
                identify the class, quality, quantity, and condition of agricultural prod-
                ucts shipped or received in interstate commerce.The act also authorizes
                the Secretary to develop and improve standards of quality, quantity,
                condition, grade, and packaging and to recommendand demonstrate
                such standards in order to encourageuniformity and consistency in
                commercial practices.
                AM&   FGIS, and NMFS develop standards and perform inspection and
                grading services under the act. AMSis responsible for dairy products,
                fruits and vegetables,livestock, meat, poultry, rabbits, and shell eggs.
                FGIS is responsible for rice, pulses, processedgrain products, hops, and
                related commodities.NMF-Sis responsible for fish and shellfish.
                The Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 authorizes the
                establishment of programs and agreementsto regulate the quality,
                quantity, or container or pack requirements for fruits, vegetables,and
                certain specialty crops and to regulate the minimum prices paid to pro-
                ducers of milk and dairy products. The act also requires the regulation
                of certain of these commodities imported into the United States when-
                ever domestic shipments of the commodities are subject to quality regu-
                lations under a marketing order.

                The Egg Products Inspection Act (1) requires continuous AMS inspection
                of all egg products processingplants; (2) requires mandatory quarterly
                inspections of shell egg handlers packing for consumer sales;(3)
                restricts certain types of shell eggsfrom moving into consumer chan-
                nels; and (4) prohibits state or local governments from imposing stan-
                dards differing from official USDA standards for grade and size of eggs
                moving in interstate commerce.Under the act AMS is responsible for
                inspecting egg product processingplants and firms marketing eggs,
                while FDA is responsible for restaurants, institutions, and food manufac-
                turing establishments that serve eggsor use them in their products.
                The Federal Anti-Tampering Act provides for monetary penalties and
                imprisonment for tampering with consumer products, including food,
                and their labeling and packaging that affect interstate and foreign com-
                merce. The act gives FDA, USDA, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
                the authority to follow up on tampering violations.




                Page 17                  GAO/RCED-91.19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Programs
Appendix II
Mlajor Provleiona of Principal   Food Safety
and Quality Legislation




The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act authorizes FDA to (1) regulate
food (except meat, poultry, and egg products, which are covered by sep-
arate legislation and are USDA'S responsibility) production and manufac-
turing to ensure that food is safe, clean, and wholesome and (2)
establish reasonable standards of identity, quality, and fill of container
for food products. The act also (1) requires FDA to review and approve
food and color additives before they can be marketed and (2) prohibits
the interstate commerceof adulterated foods and false or misleading
labeling of food products. Under the act EPA is responsible for setting
tolerances for pesticide residues on food commodities and animal feed
marketed in the United States.
The act also directs FDA to maintain surveillance of all animal drugs,
feeds, and veterinary devices marketed in interstate commerceto ensure
their compliance with the act. The act requires that all animal drugs
that are not generally recognized as safe and effective be approved by
FDA before marketing on the basis of studies made by the sponsor.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act requires EPA to
register pesticide products, specify the terms and conditions of their use
prior to being marketed, and remove unreasonably hazardous pesticides
from the marketplace. The act requires EPA to take into account the eco-
nomic, social, and environmental costs and benefits in making decisions.
The Federal Meat Inspection Act requires FSIS to administer an inspec-
tion program to ensure that meat and meat products moving in inter-
state and foreign commercefor use as human food are safe, wholesome,
and correctly marked, labeled, and packaged. The act was amended in
1967 to establish the federal-state cooperative program under which
USDA helps fund state inspection programs conducted by state employees
for meat sold in intrastate commerce.It also required state inspection
programs to be “at least equal to” the federal program and strengthened
the regulation of imported meat.

Under the Federal Import Milk Act, milk and cream may be imported
into the United States only under a permit from the Secretary of Health
and Human Services after certain sanitary and other prerequisites have
been fulfilled.
The InfantFormula Act of 1980 established nutrient requirements for
infant formulas and gave FDA authority to establish requirements for
quality control, record keeping, reporting, and recall procedures. The act
also extended FDA'S factory inspection authority to permit accessto


Page 18                            GAO/RCED-91-19A   Federal Food safety   and Quality   Program
Appendix II
h,jor Provbiio~~ of Principal   Food Safety
and Quality Leglalation




manufacturers’records and test results necessaryto determine
compliance.
The Lacey Act, administered by NMFS, makes it unlawful to deliver,
carry, transport, or ship by any means for commercial or noncommercial
purposes or sell in interstate or foreign commerceany fish or wildlife
that was taken, transported, or sold in violation of any federal, state, or
foreign law or regulation. NMFS investigates alleged violations of the act.
The Magnuson Fishery Conservation and ManagementAct, administered
by NMF-S,requires fishery resources to be used to the greatest overall
benefit to the nation, with specific reference to the use of the nation’s
fishery resources as food. The act includes a mandate for NMFS program-
matic activities to, among other things, maximize the quality of seafood
products to ensure the greatest economicreturn for harvested resources.
The National OceanPollution Researchand Development and Moni-
toring Planning Act of 1978 requires the National Oceanicand Atmos-
pheric Administration (NOAA) to develop the necessarybase of
information to protect public health and provide for the rational, effi-
cient, and equitable conservation and development of ocean and coastal
resources.
The Pesticide Monitoring Improvements Act of 1988 requires FDA to (1)
develop new, or modify existing, data managementsystems to track,
summarize, and evaluate pesticide monitoring data; (2) enter into coop-
erative agreementswith foreign countries to obtain pesticide usage data
on crops imported from those countries; and (3) develop an analytical
methods research plan to guide the development of methods to improve
the efficiency of food monitoring.
The Poultry Products Inspection Act requires FSIS to administer an
inspection program to ensure that poultry and poultry products moving
in interstate and foreign commerce for use as human food are safe,
wholesome, and correctly marked, labeled, and packaged. The act was
amendedin 1968 to establish the federal-state cooperative program
under which USDA helps fund state inspection programs conducted by
state employeesfor poultry products sold in intrastate commerce.It also
required state inspection programs to be “at least equal to” the federal
program.
The Public Health Service Act provides for federal-state cooperative
assistancein preventing the interstate transmission of disease,and thus


Page 19                           GAO/RCED-91-19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Programs
Appendix II
Ik!or Provisions of Principal   Food Safety
and Qudity h&mlat~on




establishes FDA’s authority for its programs for sanitation in milk
processing, shellfish, restaurant and retail market operations, and inter-
state travel conveyances.
The Safe Drinking Water Act requires FDA, in consultation with EPA, to
establish regulations relating to bottled drinking water standards. Pur-
suant to the act FDA has established standards of quality and current
good manufacturing practice regulations for processing and bottling
waters. EPA has jurisdiction over drinking water produced by municipal
systems of a certain size but not over individual private wells.
Under the Toxic SubstancesControl Act, EPA controls the manufac-
turing, processing, distribution, use, and disposal of chemical substances
and mixtures, including those that can adulterate food.
The US. Grain Standards Act, administered by FGIS, (1) requires a
national inspection and weighing system for grain, (2) requires that
most export grain be inspected and weighed, (3) provides for inspection
and weighing services for domestic grain upon request, (4) prohibits
deceptive practices and criminal acts with respect to inspecting and
weighing grain, and (5) provides penalties for violations. The act was
amendedin 1981 to require FGIS to collect user fees from official agen-
cies (states and private agenciesthat perform inspection and weighing
services) to fund the costs associatedwith supervising the federal grain
inspection and weighing activities of official agencies.




Page 20                           GAO/RCED-9149A   Federal Food safety   and Quality   Programs
Appendix III

Responsibilities,F’unding,and Staffing of
Principal Federal AgenciesInvolved W ith Food
Safety and Qua&y

Millions of dollars
                                              Principal                                                                      FY 1989         FY 1989
Agency                Program                 leglrlation         Responsible for                                            funding         staffing
FDA        -          Food safety                                 Safety/quality of all foods except meat and
                                              FIEA                poultry; shares eggs with AMS                                  $132            2,093
                      Animal drugs and        FFDCA               Safety/effectiveness of animal drugs and feeds;
                      feeds                                       safetv of food animals                                           26              244
USDA:
----.                                                                                                                                              -
    FSIS             Meatand poultry          FMIA                Safety/quality   of meat and poultry
                     inspection               PPIA                                                                                457           10.399
   AMS               Egg products             EPIA                Safety/quality   of egg products and shell eggs
                     inspection; shell egg
                     surveillance                                                                                                  10             201
                     Commodity                AMA                 Facilitate marketing of agricultural commodities
                     standardization,
                     inspection, and
                     grading; other                                                                                                a7            2,171
                .------~
   FGIS              Grain standardization;   tJJ:SA              Facilitate marketing of grain and rice
                     grain/rice inspection
                     and weiqhinq                                                                                                  42             860
NMFS                 Seafood inspection       AMA                 Voluntary seafood inspection/grading     and
                     and research                                 research                                                         12              265
iiEi----             Pesticide registration   FIFRA               Safety of pesticide products
                     and tolerances           FFDCA                                                                                55              624
Total                                                                                                                           6821           16.667




                                                       Page 2 1                        GAO/RCED-91-19A     Federal Food Safety and Quality   Programs
Appendix IV

Types of Food Safety and Quality Activities
Cayried Out by Principal FederalAgencies

                                                                                         USDA
                Activity                                      FDA         AMS             FGIS           FSIS           EPA          NMFS
                Inspections                                       X          X               X              X             X                  X
                Quality grading                                    .         X               x                  l             l              X


                Collect/analvze samples                           X          X               X              X             X                  X
                Research                                          X                  a               a              a     X                  X
                Develop standards for:
                   Foodsicroos                                    X          X               x                  l             l              X


                   Facilities                                                                    .          X                 .                  .
                   Equipment                                          .      X               X              x                 l                  l


                   Processing procedures                          X          x                   l          x                 l                  ’


                   Labels                                         X          x                   l              l         x                      l


                   Packapinp                                       .         x                   l              l         X                  X


                Approve before use:
                   Facilities                                         .      x                .             x                 l                  l


                   Eauipment                                          .      X               X              x                 l                  l


                   Processino procedures                              .      x                   l          x                 l                  l


                   Product recipes/formulas                           .      x                   l          x                 l              X


                   Labels                                             .      x                   l          X             x                      l


                   Packaging                                          .      x                   .              .             .                  .
                   Food colors/additives                          x              .               .              .             .                  .
                   Animal drugs/food additives                    x              .               l              .             .                  .


                   Pesticide products                                 .          .               .              .         x                      l


                Set residue tolerances for:
                   Pesticides                                      .             .               .              .         x                      l


                   Other contaminants                             )(             .               .              .             .                  .

                aAgricultural Research Service carries out research for AMS, FGIS, and FSIS.




                Page 22                            GAO/RCED-Bl-19A        Federal Food Safety and Quality                         Frograms
Appendix V

FederalAgenciesResponsiblefor Regulating,
Monitoring, or Performing Quality Grading
Servicesfor Various Food Industries
                                                                             USDA
              Food industry
              --                                         FDA      AMS         FGIS       FSIS      EPA          NMFS
              Dairy
              ~.~-
                                                            x        x               l         l     x                  l


              Eggs/egg products                             X        x               l         l     x                  l


              Fruits/vegetables                             X        x               l         l     x                  l


              Grain/rice/pulses                             x            l       x             l     x                  l


              interstate conveyances                        x            .           .         .         .              .
              Meat and poultry                               .       x               l     X         x                  l
                                            -

              Restaurants                                   )(           .           .         .         .              .
              ---                      --
              Seafood                                       x            .           .         .     X                  X




              Page 23                           GAO/RCED-91-19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality            Programa
Appendix VI

Examplesof Federal InteragencyAgreements
Relatingto Food Safety and Quality

                                                                             USDA
              Subject of agreement                        FDA     AMS         FGIS         FSIS       EPA          NMFS
              Coordination of federal regulatory
              activities concerning residues of
              drugs, pesticides, and environmental
              contaminants that may adulterate
              food                                           X       x               l       X          x                  l


              Inspection of food manufacturing
              firms whose facilities are under the
              jurisdiction of both FSIS and FDA              x           l           l        x             l              l


              Recall of meat/poultry products
              prepared in an FSIS-inspected
              establishment that contain food
              inaredients recalled bv FDA                    x           l           l        x             l              l


              Jurisdiction relating to administering
              the Egg Products Inspection Act                X       x               .            .         .              .
              Coordination of inspection activities
              relating to dry-milk-product plants
              under voluntary AMS inspection          .
              programs to determine whether
              products are contaminated with
              salmonella microorganisms                      X       x               .            .         .              .
              Coordination of inspection activities
              at food (including fruits and
              vegetables) processing plants
              operating under AMS resident-type
              inspection/grading contracts which
              are also subject to FDA inspection             X       x               .#.                    .              .
              Coordination of inspection activities
              at facilities that process, hold, or
              distribute rain rice, or pulses
              where an F GIS ‘Inspector
                                 .        or licensee
              is stationed which are also subiect
              to FDA inspection                              x           l       x                .         .              .


              Coordination of inspection activities
              at fishery products’plants under
              NMFS voluntary inspection contracts
              which are also subject to FDA
              inspection                                     )(          .           .            .         .              X




              Page 24                            GAO/WED-91-ISA   Federal Food Safety and Quality               Programs
Appendix VII

Changesin Staffing and Funding Levels of
Principal Federal AgenciesInvolved W ith Food
Safety and Quality Activities, Fiscal Years 1980,
1985,and 1989                            . .-
                                                                                Staffing level for fiscal year
                Agency                                                           1980            1985                 1989
                FSIS                                                            11,084             10,672            10,399
                FDA                                                              2,530              2.336             2.337
                FGIS                                                             1,778                739               750
                EPA                                                               755             591 __-               624
                                                                                Funding level for fiscal year
                                                                              Millions of (constant 1989) dollars
                FSIS                                                            $469.1~           $469.5             $457.2
                FDA                                                              172.2             155.3              158.3
                FGIS                                                              85.3              44.6               42.3
                EPA                                                               59.4              51.7               54.7
                Note: We did not include AMS and NMFS in this appendix because the agencies did not provide staffing
                and funding data for all 3 fiscal years, principally because of changes in organization and/or responsibili-
                ties or destruction of data pursuant to agency records retention guidelines.




                Page 25                               GAO/RCED-91-19A       Federal Food Ssfety and Quality       Programs
Appendix VIII

Critical Food Safety Issuesof the 1990s ~&IS
Perceivedby Officials of Principal
Federal Agencies

                                                                             USDA
                Food safety issue                        FDA      AMS         FGIS   FSIS      EPA                 NMFS
                Microbiological contamination               X        X           X      x                ’                 X
                Pesticide/chemical contamination            X        X           X      X               X                  X
                Foods produced using
                biotechnoloov                               X        x           l       l              x                      .


                Pollutants/contaminants/toxins    in
                seafood                                     x            .       .       .                  .              X
                Cleansing of contaminated shellfish          l           l       .       l                  l              X


                Potential hazards associated with
                new processing, packaging, and
                marketina techniaues                         .           .       .       .                  .              X
                Adequate water of acceptable
                quality for seafood processing               .           .       .       .                  .              X
                Animal feed produced by
                biotechnoloov                               x            .       .       .                  .                  .
                Industrial by-product feed for
                animals                                     x            .       .       .                  .                  .
                ~___I____
                Pesticide/chemical contamination of
                animal feed                                 x            .       .       .              x                      l


                Lengthy FIFRA cancellation process           l           l       l       l              x                      l


                Compatibility of FFDCA and FIFRA
                tolerance provisions                         .           .       .       .              x                      l


                Difficulty in removing pesticides from
                the market                                   .           .       .       .              x                      l


                Weak FIFRA penalties for violations          .           .       .       .          x                          l




                Page 26                         GAO/RCED?)l-19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality               Programs
Appendix IX

FederalFood Safety and Quality Activities
Relatingto Meat and Poultry Products

                          The current federal food safety and quality system, which is complex
                          and fragmented, relies on the cooperation of federal, state, local, and
                          international agenciesand private industry. Meat and poultry safety
                          and quality activities illustrate this complexity and fragmentation.
                          This appendix presents information on the size and makeup of the
                          industry, federal legislative responsibilities, federal food safety and
                          quality activities, federal interagency agreements,relationship to state
                          inspection programs, and critical food safety issuesof the 1990s related
                          to meat and poultry.

                          FSISis the principal federal agency performing meat and poultry safety
                          and quality activities. Other federal agencies,such as FDA, EPA, AMS,
                          APHIS, and ARS, also carry out meat and poultry safety and quality
                          activities.

                          According to FSIS, in fiscal year 1989:
Size and Makeup of
the Meat and Poultry .    About 6,700 meat and poultry plants throughout the United States and
Industry             .
                          220 official import establishments were subject to federal inspection.
                          All of the federally inspected meat plants and federally inspected
                          poultry plants were eligible to receive voluntary grading and certifica-
                          tion services from Ms.
                      .   About 6,700 meat and poultry plants engagedin intrastate commerce
                          were inspected by states under their own meat and poultry inspection
                          programs.
                      .   About 1,400 plants in 34 countries were certified by FSISto export meat
                          or poultry to the United States.
                      .   About 2.6 billion pounds of meat and poultry were imported into the
                          United States and about 2.6 billion pounds were exported.

                          Further, FDA estimates that about 80 percent of the livestock and
                          poultry in the United States is treated with some animal drug or feed
                          additive and that its animal drug data system contains information on
                          over 12,000 animal drug products.

                          FSIS is responsible for ensuring that the nation’s commercial supply of
Federal Legislative       meat and poultry products is safe, wholesome,and correctly marked,
ResponsibiliCes           labeled, and packaged,as required by law. In carrying out its responsi-
                          bilities, FSIS



                          Page 27                  GAO/RCED-ol-19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Frogram~
    Appendix IX
    Federal Food Safety and QuaUty Activities
    Relating to Meat and Poultry Products




. inspects animals intended for use as food before and after slaughter and
  supervises the further processing of meat and poultry products;
. provides pathological, microbiological, chemical, and other scientific
  examination of meat and poultry products for disease,infection, con-
  tamination, or other types of adulteration;
. reviews and approves a plant’s plans for facilities, equipment, and pro-
  cedures to make sure the operation will be sanitary before the plant can
  begin operating as a federally inspected establishment;
9 reviews and approves formulas and labels of meat products containing
  over 3 percent fresh meat and poultry products containing 2 percent or
  more cooked poultry before the products are marketed;
. reviews and assessesthe effectiveness of state meat and poultry inspec-
  tion programs for plants under state jurisdiction to ensure that states
  apply standards at least equal to those of the federal program;
. reviews and assessesforeign inspection systems and plants that export
  meat and poultry to the United States to ensure that standards are
  maintained equal to those in the United States; and
. reinspects imported meat and poultry products at port of entry to
  ensure that products meet federal standards.
    FDA is responsible for ensuring that animal drugs and feeds marketed in
    interstate commerce are safe and effective and produce no human
    health hazards when used in food-producing animals. In carrying out its
    responsibilities, FDA
9 reviews and evaluates applications for new animal drugs and food addi-
  tives for effectiveness, animal safety, environmental impact, labeling,
  and human safety;
. inspects animal drug manufacturing and distribution facilities and medi-
  cated-feed manufacturing sites for compliance with FFDCA  and FDA regu-
  lations; and
l collects and analyzes animal drug and animal feed samples for compli-
  ance with FFLXA and FDA regulations.

    By agreement with FSIS,FDA also is responsible for the safety and quality
    of meat products containing 3 percent or less fresh meat and poultry
    products containing less than 2 percent cooked poultry.
    EPA isresponsible for analyzing potential health impacts and setting tol-
    erances for pesticide residues on meat and poultry products and animal
    feeds marketed in the United States. FDA, USDA, and state enforcement
    agenciesare responsible for enforcing the tolerances.



    Page 28                         GAO/WED-Sl-19A Federal Food Safety and Quality Programa



                              .1                                              ,
                          Appendix M
                          Federal Food Saf’ety and Quality Activities
                          Rdathg t.a Meat and Poultry Products




                          AMSis responsible for developing standards of quality, quantity, condi-
                          tion, grade, and packaging for meat and poultry and for performing
                          grading and inspection services upon request for a fee.
                          APHIS  is responsible for conducting programs to prevent communicable
                          animal diseasesof foreign origin from entering the United States and
                          preventing the spread of animal diseasesthrough interstate shipments
                          of livestock.

                          In carrying out its meat and poultry inspection activities during fiscal
Major Federal             year 1989, FSIS
Activities
                          inspected about 35.4 billion pounds of slaughtered meat,
                          inspected about 29.6 billion pounds of slaughtered poultry,
                          inspected about 74.1 billion pounds of processedmeat products,
                          inspected about 80.9 billion pounds of processedpoultry products,
                          inspected about 2.5 billion pounds of imported meat and poultry, and
                          analyzed 564,060 samples of meat and poultry.

                          In performing its voluntary grading and certification services during
                          fiscal year 1989, AMS
                          graded about 14.6 billion pounds of meat,
                          graded about 14.4 billion pounds of poultry, and
                          certified 769 million pounds of meat.

                          Coordination of meat and poultry safety and quality activities takes
Federal Interagency       place between FSIS, FDA, EPA, AMS, APHIS, and ARS. Following are examples
Agreements                of the agreements:
                      .   FSIS, FDA, EPA, and AMS have an agreement establishing the working rela-
                          tionships for promoting more effective, efficient, and coordinated fed-
                          eral regulatory activities concerning residues of drugs, pesticides, and
                          environmental contaminants that may adulterate meat, poultry, eggs,or
                          animal feed.
                      .   FSIS and FDA have an agreement that is intended to minimize duplication
                          of inspection effort by exchanging work planning information and refer-
                          ring violative conditions concerning food manufacturers whose facilities
                          are under the jurisdiction of both FSIS and FDA.




                          Page 29                           GAO/WED-Bl-19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Programs
                            Appendix IX
                            Federal Food Safety and Quality Activities
                            Relating to Meat and Poultry Froducte




                        . FSIS and FDA have an agreementpertaining to meat and poultry products
                          that have been manufactured in an rsis-inspectedestablishment and
                          that contain food ingredients that have been recalled by FDA.
                        l FSIS and AMS have an agreement covering meat and poultry plants where
                          ISIS provides mandatory inspection services and AMS provides voluntary
                          grading services.
                        l FSIS and APHIS have an agreementinvolving surveillance, testing, investi-
                          gation, and tracebacks to points of origin of diseasedanimals.
                        . FSIS and ARS have an agreementrelating to planning, budgeting, and
                          managing studies on chemical residues in meat and conducting chemical
                          and m icrobiological analysis on meat samples.
                        . ISIS and ARS have an agreementinvolving research on meat and poultry
                          products done by ARS for ISIS.


Relationship to State       Pursuant to the Talmadge-AikenAct of 1962, FSIS established coopera-
                            tive agreementswith states to perm it state employeesto carry out
Inspection Programs         inspection in meat and poultry slaughtering and processingplants.
                            These plants are consideredto be “federally inspected”and thus may
                            sell their products in interstate commerce.

                            Under the federal-state cooperative inspection program , FSIS monitors
                            state inspection programs that inspect meat and poultry products that
                            will be sold only within the state in which they are produced. The pur-
                            pose is to ensure that states apply inspection standards that are at least
                            equal to those of the federal program . About half the states conduct
                            their own meat and poultry inspection programs, and about 5,700 plants
                            are inspected by state programs. If states chooseto end their state
                            inspection programs or cannot maintain the “at least equal to” standard,
                            ISIS must assumeresponsibility for inspection.

                            AMS has cooperative agreementswith 11 states regarding voluntary
                            meat grading and certification services and with all 60 states, the Virgin
                            Islands, and Puerto Rico regarding poultry grading.
                            APHIS cooperateswith  states to control and eradicate animal diseases
                            present in the United States,


                            Meat and poultry pose a wide array of potential health problems,
Critical Food Safety        including m icrobiological contamination such as Salmonellaand Listeria
Issues of the 1990s         monocytogenes;chemical and drug residues from pesticides, animal
                            drugs, and medicated feeds; parasites; and decomposition,


                            Page 30                          GAO/NED-91-19A   Federal Food Safety and 6juallty   Frograma
Appendix IX
Federal Food Safety and Quality Activities
Relating to Meat and Poultry Products




According to      FSIS, it   will face three critical issues during the 1990s.ISIS
believes that
the United States needs a strong food safety research program to
uncover more information about emerging foodborne pathogens (bac-
teria and viruses capable of causing diseasein humans) and to find
better ways to control all pathogens;
more research, including development of additional rapid tests for
chemical residue detection, is needed;and
it is necessaryto modernize meat and poultry inspection.
FDA’sCenter for Veterinary Medicine provided the following list of crit-
ical food safety issues of the 1990s:
Mycotoxin contamination of grains and other feedstuffs and the control
procedures used.
Pesticide and industrial chemical contamination of feeds and feed
ingredients.
Microbiological contamination of feed ingredients and the control proce-
dures used.
Feed products produced using biotechnology.
The by-product feed ingredient industry, especially industrial wastes
used as feed ingredients.
Drug and chemical residues in meat.




Page al                           GAO/RCED-91-19A   Federal Food Safety and Quality   Programa
Appendix X

Major Contributors to This Report


           c
Resources,                Clifton W. Fowler, Assistant Director
Community, and            Edward M. Zadjura, Assistant Director
                          Richard B. Shargots, Evaluator-in-Charge
Economic                  Molly W. MacLeod,Reports Analyst
Development   Division,   Earl P. Williams, Writer-Editor
Washington, D.C.          Monica L. Nickens, Information ProcessingAssistant




(097758)                  Page 32                 GAO/RCED-91-19A   Federal Food fhfety   and Quality   Programs
    I .._...-..
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                             -.-----.---.----.----.-.-.--.--.----.---                             .-




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