When we think about food, we tend to envision the end product. That is, the meat, dairy, produce, or packaged items that end up on your table. But long before food makes it to your plate, or even to the market, it is subject to a regulatory process.
In the United States, the production and manufacturing of food is regulated by numerous government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. There is a vast network of oversight involved with almost everything we eat. Some people may not be aware of this, some may take it for granted, and others may think “who cares”? But the regulation and oversight of food is important, as is knowing who the players are in that process.
With a greater understanding of the processes involved in our food production we can become more engaged and ultimately make better decisions about how we source our food and where we get dietary advice. Additionally, with a deeper understanding of our regulatory process, we might better understand why we constantly see things like this in the news.
The U.S. food regulatory system is a complex web of agency involvement. There is a lot of information out there, and in our research, we came across a guide titled, Ensuring a Safe Food Supply: A Concise Guide to the U.S. Food Regulatory System. After reviewing the 3-page PDF, we concluded that while informative, the document was taking liberties with the word concise. (Click Here to view the guide.)
In an effort to give our readers a basic understanding of the major players involved and who does what, we have narrowed the guide down to the three biggest players and included a brief of summary of their responsibilities in an infographic. While these agencies are broken up into sub-agencies (i.e. departments), we have not identified those sub-agencies as it would defeat our goal of brevity. If you are interested in exploring these agencies further, you can check out their websites as well.
Check it out, share it with your friends, and leave your thoughts and ideas on this topic below in the comments section.