The Role of Consumer Advocacy in Strengthening Food Safety Policy

  • Patricia BuckEmail author
Part of the Food Microbiology and Food Safety book series (FMFS)


When Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle in 1906, he raised public concern about the health, safety, and sanitation practices of the meatpacking industry, which Congress quickly addressed by enacting the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. Since then, new food challenges have emerged as food production practices and longer supply chains evolved for a population demanding fresher food, more food eaten away from home, and more prepared food items for consumption at home. Late in the twentieth century, a large outbreak associated with E. coli O157:H7 spurred the federal government and its state partners to shift meat and poultry oversight away from a prescribed reactive approach to one that is more proactive and preventive and based on a science- and risk-based approach. Later, after repeated outbreaks associated with non-meat and poultry products, a similar effort was launched to provide stronger protections for other types of food. Consumer advocates made important contributions to secure the passage and implementation of both the 1996 Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Final Rule at USDA and the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act at FDA, and they have led the way in developing other protections, such as improved labeling for foods. As scientific knowledge improves our understanding of food safety hazards, there is much more to be done if we hope to meet the ongoing and future food challenges, in particular, the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of foodborne bacteria.


Antibiotic resistance Consumer advocacy Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Food policy Food safety reform Foodborne illness Mechanically tenderized beef PR/HACCP 



Antibiotic resistant


Agricultural Research Service


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Congressional Budget Office


Economic Research Service


Food and Drug Administration


Foodborne Outbreak Online Database


Food Safety Inspection Service


Food Safety Modernization Act


Government Accountability Office


Health and Human Services


Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration


Long-term health outcomes


Make Our Food Safe coalition


Mechanically tenderized


Nongovernmental organization


National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System


Office of Inspector General


Office of Management and Budget


Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points


Safe Food Coalition


US Department of Agriculture


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Foodborne Illness Research & PreventionGrove CityUSA

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