On March 3, the Government Accountability Office issued a new Report titled “Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs” highlighting Food Safety programs among some 34 duplicative governmental programs in which inefficiencies are created through fragmentation of responsibility and unnecessary duplication of programs.

The Government Accountability Office is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of Congress.

The report (page 3) states that the “…fragmented food safety system has caused inconsistent oversight, ineffective coordination, and inefficient use of resources.”  The Report further points out that Food Safety responsibility is divided among some 15 Federal agencies.

The fact that Food Safety is listed first among the 34 duplicative programs will not be lost on Members of Congress who are now dealing in various committees with funding issues related to the implementation of the newly approved Food Safety Modernization Act (“FSMA”). A number of Republican Members of the new 112th Congress have vowed to block funding for the implementation of the FSMA.

A copy of the GAO Report is posted below. The comments on the Food Safety System appear on page 3.