The Role of Consumer Advocates in Changing Food Policy: Lessons Learned from FSMA
Sandra Eskin- Director, Safe Food Project, The Pew Charitable Trusts
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 is landmark consumer protection legislation that was decades in the making. A number of factors led to its enactment and many players had a role in this successful effort. Like most consumer protection laws, FSMA was a reaction to crises. The first was the 1993 outbreak of E. coli infections linked to undercooked hamburgers served at a fast-food restaurant, and the second, a 2006 outbreak of infections from the same toxic strain of E. coli that contaminated fresh cut spinach. In my presentation I will share my first-hand experiences and observations regarding the consumer advocacy community’s efforts to improve the safety of the food supply and the lessons learned from the FSMA experience.
Sandra Eskin is the Director of Food Safety at The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C. Before joining Pew, she spent nearly 20 years as a public-policy consultant to numerous consumer and public-interest organizations, providing strategic and policy advice on a broad range of consumer-protection issues, in particular, food and drug safety, labeling, and advertising. She has served as a member of numerous federal advisory committees, including ones related to consumer information on prescription drugs, meat and poultry safety, and foodborne illness surveillance. Before joining Pew, Ms. Eskin was the Deputy Director of the Produce Safety Project (PSP), a Pew-funded initiative at Georgetown University. While at PSP, Ms. Eskin was a senior scholar with the O’Neil Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. She has written numerous reports and articles on food-safety topics. Ms. Eskin received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and her B.A. from Brown University.