USA: PepsiCo chairman calls for "new level of cooperation" between industry and government
Steven Reinemund, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo has called for "a new level of cooperation" between the food industry and government to enhance the safety of the US food supply.
"If there is a silver lining to the terrible attacks on our country, it is a heightened spirit of cooperation and partnership among those who work to keep our nation's food safe and secure," Reinemund stated. "We need to continue this strong, collaborative process in order to ensure the very safest food supply possible."
Reinemund made his remarks at the 4th Annual Food Safety Summit, co-sponsored by the National Food Processors Association (NFPA). The summit drew more than 1,000 participants; other keynote speakers included Tom Ridge, Director of the Office of Homeland Security; Dr. Lester Crawford, acting head of the US Food and Drug Administration; and Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas).
"Food security is not a new issue for food companies, but certainly the level of cooperation and information-sharing post-11 September has been unique," Reinemund said. "Our work now - as it has been - is to improve food security, and that work will never end."
He also praised the rapid response of industry trade groups to form alliances with government agencies to ensure the best flow of information possible on the issue of food security.
Reinemund pointed out "The current food safety regulatory structure is built on a solid partnership between and among the regulatory agencies and industry. We must make sure that, in reviewing the existing structure, we do not unbalance a very effective system."
Reinemund noted "I am proud of the actions taken by food companies, to offer relief assistance and support in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Food companies contributed vast quantities of product, and many millions of dollars, to help those most affected by these attacks. Truly, this was the food industry at its best."
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