FDA, USDA, EPA Announce Strategy To ‘Win On Reducing Food Waste’

Food & Drink

USDA, EPA, and FDA announced interagency strategy to Win on Reducing Food Waste today.

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Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a federal interagency strategy to address food waste. Today’s announcement follows a Presidential Message acknowledging the month of April as Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month and encouraging public action and participation from all sectors.

“As the world’s population continues to grow to nearly 10 billion people by 2050 and the food systems continue to evolve, now is the time for action to educate consumers and businesses alike on the need for food waste reduction,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “Our nation’s agricultural abundance should be used to nourish those in need, not fill the trash.”

The Winning on Reducing Food Waste Federal Interagency Strategy provides six key priority areas the agencies will work together on over the next year.  These include increasing consumer education and outreach efforts, improving coordination and guidance on measurement, and ensuring less food is wasted by federal agencies in their respective facilities.

Clarifying issues around food safety, food date labels, and food donation is another component. “Contrary to popular beliefs, date labeling on food packages are often intended to communicate time ranges for optimal food quality, not safety,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas. “With more than one-third of all available food uneaten through waste or loss and 1 in 6 Americans suffering a foodborne illness each year, it’s clear that many people are unnecessarily discarding food in fear of food safety issues. This is why the FDA is focused on taking steps to make date labeling on foods clearer and easier for consumers to determine when a food should be discarded.”

The strategy also aims to collaborate with private industry through showcasing and building partnerships such as the USDA/EPA U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, which recognizes businesses and organizations that have made a public commitment to reduce food loss and waste in their own operations in the United States by 50 percent by the year 2030.  Hilton, Sodexo, Pepsico, and Campbell’s are among the participants in this partnership.  The strategy further commits to connect stakeholders with food waste reduction technologies.

The interagency aspect of the strategy will help coordinate actions such as research, community investments, education and outreach, technical assistance, and policy discussion.

Everyone is invited to participate by sharing their action to reduce food waste on social media using the hashtag #NoWastedFood throughout the month.

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