Many illnesses have been linked to imported food, from fruits and vegetables to nuts, spices, berries, cheese, and much more. An estimated 3,000 Americans die from food-related illnesses every year.
The Food and Drug Administration has proposed new rules which would make U.S. food importers responsible for ensuring that their foreign suppliers are handling and processing food safely. The guidelines would require U.S. food importers to verify that the foreign companies they import from achieve the same levels of food safety required in this country. These new rules could eventually cost the food industry up to $472 million annually, a cost which would be passed on to the consumer. "FDA wants attention paid to food imports," by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press, July 27, 2013
The U.S. imports food from more than 150 countries. The government only inspects around 2% of imported food at our ports and borders.
An estimated 130,000 Americans are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year from eating contaminated foods, according to government estimates.
- More than 15% of the food we eat comes from abroad. Half of our fruit and 20% of our vegetables are imported.