A poll released Wednesday shows Iowans are worried about the safety of food and want legislators to approve a plan to make it safer. Carolyn Brickey of the Pew Charitable Trust talked about the poll at a food safety forum at Drake University in Des Moines.
Brickey says the poll indicates both a high level of concern and an urgency that Iowans feel about the need to give the government more tools to protect our food supply.
She says the poll was evenly divided among Democrats, Republicans and independents. Brickey says 50% of the people in the poll said they have become more concerned about the food supply in the wake of some major food borne illnesses. She says about 90% of the people polled said there needs to be greater protection of the food and they believed the federal government was the vehicle for protecting our food. "There was little if any disagreement about that," Brickey says.
Brickey says there were several specific issues people responded to in the poll. Brickey says:"First of all they believe that we should put imported food on the same footing that we have domestic food, and they should meet the same standards. They think that we should require that inspections of our food should be stepped up by the F.D.A. to every six to 12 months. That we should develop a workable system to do a better job of tracing our food supply and the we should require companies to test food and report the tests to the F.D.A."
Brickey says Iowans feel the same way about food safety as the rest of the U.S. She says the results show an eroding public trust in food safety and that’s consistent with a national poll she says they’ll release next week. Brickey says other polls have shown the same thing. She says the U.S. House has passed legislation and not it is the Senate’s turn.
The poll showed that 67% of the people would support an annual fee of $500 per food processing facility to help fund the F.D.A.’s actions to improve food safety. The survey of 511 registered voters was conducted between August 10 and 12th. You can see the full survey results here .