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LAS VEGAS -- A new food safety plan is in the works at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, assistant commissioner of food protection David C. Acheson told Pack Expo Las Vegas 2007 attendees yesterday.
"The new plan, once it's cleared, will have more specifics to build better prevention, stronger intervention, and faster response components," Acheson said. "We need a new approach to food safety and food defense across the board."
Acheson said the FDA will work to merge the concepts and tactics associated with food safety and food defense. "We'll prevent outbreaks and attacks with safety built in from the start," he said.
However, he also stressed that the U.S. food supply is, as a whole, generally safe. "We're not here dealing with a food safety crisis," he pointed out, noting too that food safety needs to be treated with the same level of import as any other public health issue. "Fundamentally, what we will do at FDA is to move from a reactive to a proactive position. We have got to get up and be proactive."
Acheson said he expects to be able to release the FDA's new food safety plan within a few weeks.
Pack Expo is said to be the largest packaging trade show in the world. The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) produces the Pack Expo trade shows.