Death by Apple Juice: The Problem of Foodborne Illness, the Regulatory Response, and Further Suggestions for Reform

November 1998

Issue: 53 Food and Drug Law Journal 681-728 (1998)

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the problem of foodborne illness in the United States, past and current regulatory measures in response to the problem, and further suggestions for reform. Part I fully outlines the numerous, and often disparate, aspects of the foodborne illness problem, with special attention to several recent and highly publicized outbreaks. This part also provides a history of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other government regulation of food pathogens. Part II discusses recent efforts by the Clinton Administration to combat foodborne illness, including the National Food Safety Initiative and related efforts to increase the safety of imported food. Part III discusses problems with the current regulatory approach, including the government’s almost-exclusive reliance on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points methods to prevent foodborne illness. Suggestions for reform include increased funding for research in food chemistry and development of risk assessment methodologies.


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