Food Safety

Fundamental Changes Needed to Improve Monitoring of Unsafe Chemicals in Food Gao ID: T-RCED-94-311 September 28, 1994

GAO identified five basic weaknesses in the overall federal structure and systems for monitoring chemicals in food. First, fragmentation of responsibility among multiple agencies results in inefficiencies and gaps in federal monitoring activities. Second, chemicals posing similar risks may be regulated differently under different laws. Third, federal agencies rely on programs to detect unsafe chemicals in food rather than preventing these problems from developing. Fourth, agencies lack strong enforcement authorities to adequately deter or penalize violators. Fifth, similar problems exist for imported foods, over which the United States has even less control.

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