Support Statement – Thomas Gremillion
As a consumer advocate, I work to identify and support policies that protect people from foodborne illness. Government regulators and industry can do much more to reduce the burden of foodborne illness in the United States, but consumers have a role to play too. That’s why Consumer Federation of America teamed up with public and private sector allies to launch the Partnership for Food Safety Education.
The Partnership plays a vital role in helping consumers to access science-based, actionable information about how to prepare and handle foods safely. Its network of 13,000 “BAC fighter” health and food safety educators allows the Partnership to reach a wide audience, and to transmit its message with authority. The diversity of the Partnership’s stakeholders—including industry, consumer advocates, and public regulators—offers additional assurance that science is the driving force behind the organization’s education materials, rather than narrow self-interest or a desire to scapegoat the victims of foodborne illness for hazards better addressed by others.
CFA and the Partnership’s success are closely related. By raising awareness about the causes of foodborne illness, the Partnership not only helps consumers to protect themselves, but also lays the groundwork for better food safety policy. When consumers better understand how pathogens like E.coli O157:H7 and antibiotic resistant Salmonella can make people sick, they are more likely to both change their personal behavior, and also more likely to support government and company policies that effectively mitigate food safety risks.
CFA is proud to be a founding member of the Partnership and will continue to seek changes in policies and practices, from farm to fork, that make food safer.