Among likely voters surveyed across the nation, about 9 in 10 support the federal government adopting additional food safety measures, and 64 percent believe that imported foods are often or sometimes unsafe.
This concern about imported foods reflected a significant jump compared to the 53 percent of voters who expressed such concerns in a 2008 survey by the same pollsters. FDA is equipped to inspect less than one percent of the imported products it regulates, according to agency data.
Overall, 58 percent of voters are worried about bacterial contamination of the food supply – with about a third of those saying they worry “a great deal.”
The survey shows American voters overwhelmingly believe the federal government should be responsible for protecting the food supply, and that the voters support numerous new measures to ensure it has the authority to do so. Those surveyed are also in support of more frequent inspections of many businesses that supply food and are increasingly skeptical of imported foods’ safety.
High-profile outbreaks of contaminated peanut butter, pistachios, peppers, spinach and other food in recent years have caused many people to become sick across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 76 million food-related illnesses occur annually in the United States, with 325,000 people hospitalized and 5,000 dying as a result.