Friday, March 28, 2014

FDA open to internet complaints

In the wake of Zilmax situation, the United States Food and Drug Administration is allowing complaints about food safety, including drugs, to be filed via the internet.

So why not Canada too?

Merck withdrew Zilmax beef promotant from the market after Tyson, then other meat packers, said they had seen so many crippled cattle that they would no longer buy those fed Zilmax.

More recently, university researchers say they believe there were thousands of cattle deaths at feedlots using Zilmax, yet less than 300 reports had been filed with the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA says it has opened a new Web portal designed to give food manufacturers, drug manufacturers and the general public the opportunity to report safety issues with the food delivered to livestock nationwide.

The Safety Reporting Portal aims to “streamline the process of reporting product safety issues” to both the FDA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through both voluntary and mandatory reporting, according to the site.

It invites reports about safety issues with a specific product or potential harmful effects they believe are related to the product. Veterinarians, health care providers, public health officials, consumers and researchers are included on the list of people that the agencies want to hear from in the event of food safety problems stemming from animal food given to livestock.

The portal is part of a continuing effort by the FDA to establish more effective product safety channels to protect the food chain, according to the site.

We could surely benefit from something similar in Canada.