The growing consolidation of the food supply is severe at every step of the food chain. Learn how it impacts what you eat.
Everyone wants the food they feed themselves and their families to be safe. But it seems like almost every day we hear about another food scare: meat contaminated with e. coli, peanut butter and chicken carrying salmonella, listeria in cantaloupe and other food-borne illnesses. While these immediate threats to the safety of our food get the most headlines, long-term, systemic food safety problems are just as serious and are often tied to the same industrialized practices. Exposure to chemical residues in food, antibiotic resistance, artificial growth hormones and questionable technologies, like genetic engineering and irradiation that have not been studied for long-term impacts, could have serious consequences to our health and environment.
There are a lot of factors that impact food safety, including:
- Federal rules and standards, and whether or not government regulators (such as the FDA and USDA) have the resources and political will to enforce them.
- Transparency and Consumer Information.
- Where our food comes from. Foods imported from countries with lax safety standards bring their own safety concerns.
- How our food is grown and raised. Factory farmed meat, poultry, dairy and eggs raise troubling health concerns, and genetically engineered (GE) food has yet to be studied for long-term impacts. In addition, factory farms and GE foods on the shelves now can affect our health in the future, through antibiotic resistance, artificial growth hormones, and chemical residues.
Food & Water Watch works to make sure that our food system is properly regulated, by making sure existing standards are enforced and working for new standards for things like genetically engineered crops and food labeling.