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Does the FDA’s food waste proposal jeopardize recycling?




A photo taken on October 23, 2012 in Morsbach, western France, shows waste food products stocked at the Methavalor factory.
A photo taken on October 23, 2012 in Morsbach, western France, shows waste food products stocked at the Methavalor factory.
JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images

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Each year, billions of pounds of food waste are diverted from landfills to help feed livestock. But a proposal from a 2011 FDA food safety overhaul could limit the way reusable food resources are used, sending that food back to landfills.

The proposal is intended to keep animals and people safer, and would require stricter sanitation and record-keeping in feed production. Critics argue that the requirements would be cost prohibitive, and warn that many business would be unable to keep recycling.

Food companies in particular have vocalized unhappiness with the feed regulation, saying it would be bad for the environment and provide little to no safety benefit.

What kind of food safety overhaul is appropriate and cost effective? How can the U.S. utilize the billions of pounds of reusable food waste that goes into landfills? Would the benefits of the FDA’s proposed regulations on feed outweigh the costs?

"Getting Wasted: L.A.'s Food Excess" provides a closer look at food waste in Los Angeles and some efforts to curb food waste in the L.A. area. 

Guests:

Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of food safety at Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

Gail Tavill, vice president of sustainable development for ConAgra Foods