This report describes recommendations to change the structure of federal food safety responsibilities and gives the reader background information on the debate over the last five decades over which structure would best improve the system for ensuring "safe" food for U.S. consumers. The report lists all the major efforts that were made from 1949 through 1997 by groups inside and outside the federal government. The sets of recommendations are placed chronologically under one of four categories, depending on which organizational structure the group thought would improve food safety. The categories of organization are as follows: an independent single food safety agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or the Food and Drug Administration, or with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This product will be updated periodically. See also CRS Issue Brief 98009, Food Safety Issues in the 105th Congress.

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