Sustainability and Food Safety: What’s the Connection?

By J. Marcelo Gomez

Many consumers who are interested in food safety also express concern about animal welfare, rural economies, and environmental sustainability. But are these interests mutually exclusive?

Preventive Measures

In September 2016, the United States experienced the greatest reform in food safety laws in over 70 years by introducing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventative Controls Rule for Human Food. This shifts the emphasis from reacting to food safety incidents to preventing them. At the same time, many media outlets have focused significant attention on a growing trend in food safety that places a priority on how food is produced. Here are a couple of examples that have come into focus recently:

  • The increasing amount of fertilizer being used for the production of cereals in Asian nations and
  • The production of cocoa that exposes children in Africa—and, ultimately, consumers around the world—to pesticides and chemicalsThis shifts the emphasis from reacting to food safety incidents to preventing them

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