USDA, EPA, FDA sign food waste agreement
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on Thursday signed a joint agency agreement aimed at educating Americans on the impacts and importance of reducing food loss and waste.
The signing took place in a ceremony at the USDA headquarters.
The three-agency agreement commits USDA, EPA and FDA “to increasing collaboration and coordination in our existing federal programs in areas of mutual interest relating to the reduction of food loss and waste” for two years, but does not involve any financial obligations.
In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply, the three agency heads noted in a news release.
“An unacceptable percentage of our food supply is lost or wasted,” said Perdue.
“As the world’s population continues to grow 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.”
“Redirecting excess food to people, animals, or energy production has tremendous economic and social benefits,” Wheeler said, “and that is why the Trump administration is working closely with businesses and consumers to prevent food loss and maximize the inherent value of food.”
“By taking steps to address obstacles that food donation and recovery programs may face in giving unsold foods a second opportunity and helping food producers find ways to recondition their products so that they can be safely sold or donated, our aim is to both reduce food waste and nourish Americans in need,” Gottlieb said.
“We are delighted to be collaborating with our federal partners on the Winning on Reducing Food Waste initiative as we continue to explore additional ways to reduce food waste and make safe, nutritional foods available to all.”