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Agriculture and Food (101 - 110 of 1,559 items)
Horse Welfare: Action Needed to Address Unintended Consequences from Cessation of Domestic Slaughter
GAO-11-228: Published: Jun 22, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 2011.
Since fiscal year 2006, Congress has annually prohibited the use of federal funds to inspect horses destined for food, effectively prohibiting domestic slaughter. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for overseeing the welfare of horses transported for slaughter. Congress directed GAO to examine horse welfare since cessation of domestic slaughter in 2007. GAO examined (1) the e...
Nutrition Assistance: Additional Efficiencies Could Improve Services to Older Adults
GAO-11-782T: Published: Jun 21, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 21, 2011.
This testimony discusses our recent work on food insecurity among older adults and the nutrition assistance programs available to assist them, including nutrition assistance programs authorized under the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA). This work can help inform government policymakers as they address the needs of one of our nation's most vulnerable populations while ensuring the efficiency and...
International School Feeding: USDA's Oversight of the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program Needs Improvement
GAO-11-544: Published: May 19, 2011. Publicly Released: May 19, 2011.
The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program (MGD Program) provides donations of U.S. agricultural products and financial and technical assistance for school feeding programs in the developing world. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), with about $200 million in funding in fiscal year 2010, the MGD Program served about 5 million beneficiaries i...
Seafood Safety: FDA Needs to Improve Oversight of Imported Seafood and Better Leverage Limited Resources
GAO-11-286: Published: Apr 14, 2011. Publicly Released: May 16, 2011.
About half of the seafood imported into the U.S. comes from farmed fish (aquaculture). Fish grown in confined aquacultured areas can have bacterial infections, which may require farmers to use drugs like antibiotics. The residues of some drugs can cause cancer and antibiotic resistance. The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with ensuring t...
International Food Assistance: Better Nutrition and Quality Control Can Further Improve U.S. Food Aid
GAO-11-491: Published: May 12, 2011. Publicly Released: May 12, 2011.
For more than 50 years, the United States--which accounts for about half of global food aid supplies--has played an important role in alleviating malnutrition and hunger, especially during emergencies. In fiscal year 2010, the United States spent about $1.5 billion on emergency food aid that reached about 46.5 million beneficiaries. To preserve the nutritional value of food aid, quality controls a...
School Meal Programs: More Systematic Development of Specifications Could Improve the Safety of Foods Purchased through USDA's Commodity Program
GAO-11-376: Published: May 3, 2011. Publicly Released: May 3, 2011.
Through its commodity program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides commodity foods at no cost to schools taking part in the national school meals programs. Commodities include raw ground beef, cheese, poultry, and fresh produce. Like federal food safety agencies, the commodity program has taken steps designed to reduce microbial contamination that can result in severe illness. GAO w...
Federal Food Safety Oversight: Food Safety Working Group Is a Positive First Step but Governmentwide Planning Is Needed to Address Fragmentation
GAO-11-289: Published: Mar 18, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 18, 2011.
For more than a decade, GAO has reported on the fragmented nature of federal food safety oversight and how it results in inconsistent oversight, ineffective coordination, and inefficient use of resources. In 2007, GAO added this issue to its high-risk list. In March 2009, the President established the Food Safety Working Group (FSWG) to coordinate federal efforts and establish food safety goals to...
Food Labeling: FDA Needs to Reassess Its Approach to Protecting Consumers from False or Misleading Claims
GAO-11-102: Published: Jan 14, 2011. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 2011.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees federal requirements to prohibit false or misleading food labels; the Federal Trade Commission enforces the prohibition against false or misleading advertising. By statute, health claims on food labels must have significant scientific agreement, but in 2002, in response to a court decision, FDA decided to allow qualified health claims with less scien...
Agricultural Chemicals: USDA Could Enhance Pesticide and Fertilizer Usage Data, Improve Outreach, and Better Leverage Resources
GAO-11-37: Published: Nov 4, 2010. Publicly Released: Dec 6, 2010.
The use of pesticides and fertilizers contributes to U.S. agricultural productivity and helps ensure a generally stable, plentiful, and inexpensive food supply. However, these chemicals may also harm human health, water quality, and food safety. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) collects, analyzes, and disseminates Agricultural Chemical Usa...
Live Animal Imports: Agencies Need Better Collaboration to Reduce the Risk of Animal-Related Diseases
GAO-11-9: Published: Nov 8, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 8, 2010.
The United States legally imported more than 1 billion live animals from 2005 through 2008. With increased trade and travel, zoonotic diseases (transmitted between animals and humans) and animal diseases can emerge anywhere and spread rapidly. The importation of live animals is governed by five principal statutes and implemented by four agencies. GAO was asked to examine, among other things, (1) p...