AMI Takes Position on Food Safety

AMI Takes Position on Food Safety

Public health benefits need to be major point of food safety standards.

American Meat Institute President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle told the House Agriculture Committee last week that the meat and poultry industry has been working successfully to meet the challenge of continuously improving the safety of meat and poultry products. Boyle noted that the meat and poultry industry has been a strong advocate of a preventative approach and pointed out the important role government oversight plays in assuring that the industry meets its responsibility to produce safe food.   


Boyle addressed a number of issues related to the current food safety debate including whether microbiological performance standards are a useful tool. Boyle said they can be if properly constructed to achieve a public health objective, and if they are scientifically based to measure whether food is safe and not injurious to public health.  Boyle suggested a performance standard based solely on achieving an arbitrary outcome that yields no public health benefit is inappropriate.


Boyle also addressed the issue of mandatory recalls saying industry has every incentive to remove contaminated product from the marketplace to reduce potential liability. As for the imposition of a user fee, Boyle said USDA inspection services have long been paid for with government funds because those inspections are activities that benefit the general public.

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