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Food safety advocates identify top food risks

July 25, 2008

Nations’ leading food safety advocates explore consumer challenges
at ACCI/AAEA National Convention

Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union experts
identify top food issues and new risks facing the public

Orlando, FL—Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union food safety experts will discuss how new food technologies are also creating potential new risks for Americans at the 2008 ACCI & AAEA Joint Annual Conference, the nation’s largest gathering of consumer researchers and agricultural economists, taking place at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Florida from July 27 to 29. At 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 29, CFA’s Chris Waldrop and CU’s Dr. Michael Hansen will identify the myriad food challenges facing U.S. consumers in a session in the Boca II room entitled: “Hard Hitting and Well Informed: A Conversation Between Food Safety Policy Advocates and Researchers.”
Food Safety: USDA and FDA Policies toward Bacterial Contamination in Meat
Chris Waldrop, Director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America, will discuss needed efforts to prevent food-borne illness; providing consumers with better information about recalled food; labeling foods with their country of origin; and establishing a food traceability system that can track foods from the farm to the table. He will outline how consumer advocates will present their case for needed regulations before Congress and federal agencies.
New Food Production Technologies-New Risks
Dr. Michael Hansen, Senior Scientist at Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, will discuss genetically engineered food and pharma crops; meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring; and the use of nanotechnology in food and in food contact substances. He will identify the scientific, ethical, social and safety (human and environmental) issues raised by these new technologies—which are little known by consumers.
The Consumer Policy Symposium, co-sponsored by ACCI and AAEA, is the first in a series that will bring academic consumer researchers and policy activists together to discuss ways to strengthen consumer advocacy through sound, up-to-date research. For interviews with CFA’s Waldrop and CU’s Hansen contact Parke Wilde, 617-636-3495, parke.wilde@tufts.edu. More information on this conference and a conference program can be found at www.consumerinterests.org and www.aaea.org/2008am.
Jack Gillis, CFA, 202-737-0766
Naomi Starkman, CU, 917-539-3924

The Consumer Federation of America is a non-profit association of some 300 pro-consumer groups, which seeks to advance the consumer interest through research, education and advocacy.
Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization, whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers.