Washington D.C. — Each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases and the CDC plays the key role in the public health system’s ability to detect and respond to outbreaks of foodborne illness. Most foodborne illnesses are preventable and timely investigation and reporting of foodborne disease outbreaks helps both to hold responsible parties accountable, and to generate data that public health authorities and the food industry can use to help target efforts to prevent contamination of foods on the farm, in processing, and in restaurants and homes.
“It simply makes no sense to cut back on prevention as potentially more consumers go without healthcare insurance. It’s a prescription with tragic consequences,” said Thomas Gremillion, Director of Food Policy at the Consumer Federation of America.
The Safe Food Coalition urges Congress to eliminate the provision in the proposed American Healthcare Act that would cut the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) budget by 12%. The proposed cuts would stymie progress in detecting foodborne illness, and force state public health authorities to abandon investments in electronic laboratory reporting and other tools that protect consumers by reducing the time it takes to identify and respond to multistate foodborne disease outbreaks.
Contact: Thomas Gremillion, 202-939-1010
The Safe Food Coalition is made up of consumer, public health and victim groups who work on issues related to food, and organizations representing labor in the food industry.