View Header


                     Office of the Press Secretary
                   (Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts)
For Immediate Release                                    August 25, 1998

August 25, 1998


SUBJECT: National Academy of Sciences Report

My Administration is committed to ensuring that the American people enjoy the safest food possible. We have made great progress by implementing science-based prevention control systems for seafood, meat, and poultry; developing a comprehensive initiative to ensure the safety of domestic and imported fruits and vegetables; and launching an interagency food safety initiative that focuses on key food safety issues from the farm to the table. We can and must continue to build upon these efforts.

Under our current food safety system, several different Federal agencies have responsibility for improving food safety. Within the framework of our interagency initiative, we have taken a number of steps to improve the coordination of our food safety efforts. Most recently, we established a Joint Institute for Food Safety Research to develop a strategic plan for conducting food safety research activities and to coordinate all Federal food safety research, including with the private sector and academia.

Today, I signed an Executive Order establishing the President's Council on Food Safety. To strengthen and focus our efforts to coordinate food safety policy and resources and improve food safety for American consumers, the Council will develop a comprehensive strategic plan for Federal food safety activities, ensure the most effective use of Federal resources through the development and submission of coordinated food safety budgets, and oversee the Joint Institute for Food Safety Research.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recently issued a thoughtful and highly informative report on food safety issues, entitled "Ensuring Safe Food from Production to Consumption." This report recommends additional ways to enhance coordination and improve effectiveness in the food safety system, including through reform of current food safety legislation.

I hereby direct the Council to review and respond to this report as one of its first orders of business. After providing opportunity for public comment, including public meetings, the Council shall report back to me within 180 days with its views on the NAS's recommendations. In developing this report, the Council should take into account the comprehensive strategic Federal food safety plan that it will be developing.

I thank the Council for its efforts to improve food safety, and I look forward to the continued leadership of the President's Council on Food Safety.


# # #