On June 5, I had the pleasure of serving on a panel at a forum called "What’s in Store?" – put on by my employer Fleishman-Hillard in New York at the University Club on June 5, 2008, to discuss the future of food, as I mentioned in a previous posting. Dr. Clem Bezold of the Institute for Alternative Futures was the key speaker and I spoke on what could be expected in the future regulation of food.
As we are in the midst of an economic crisis based in part on oil, food has also entered an uncertain standing for the future. We are now using food for fuel, food riots have broken out in numerous countries in the past year due to soaring prices and increasingly limited supplies and climate change may wreak havoc with our ability to meet growing challenges.
The Food and Drug Administration oversees just that – both food and drugs. Both areas are experiencing their respective crises. One that is a common link, however, is in the issue of safety. As we have just witnessed with the recent salmonella outbreak, our system for identifying risks in the supply chain and tracing them is incredibly weak right at a time when we expect more from our domestic suppliers as well as foreign ones. And it will be safety and guarding public health – whether in food or in drugs, that will be on the minds of policymakers through this election cycle and in the membership of the new Congress. The bulk of reform aimed at FDA at both food and drugs, is enormous – expect much change.