May 22/Philadelphia/UPI) -- Challenging conventional wisdom that most people want smaller government and less expensive food, a U.S. survey indicates most would pay more for safer food.

The Pew Charitable Trusts commissioned a poll by Hart Research and American Viewpoint that indicates 66% support additional funding for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to carry out new responsibilities related to food safety.

Seventy-four percent feel it is worth a 1-3% increase in the cost of food to pay for new safety measures in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law this year. In addition, 70% of those surveyed favor food companies paying an average annual fee of $1,000 to help cover the cost of new FDA food safety activities.

Some 25% of U.S. adults say they worry a great deal about food being contaminated with bacteria that makes it unsafe to eat, while 85% say the government should be responsible for ensuring that food is safe to eat and 71% of voters say the FDA plays a very important or essential role in protecting Americans' health and safety.

Before the new law, the FDA examined about 1% of food imports, and each facility received a visit from an FDA inspector on average once a decade, Pew officials say.

The survey, conducted April 28 to May 4, surveyed 1,015 likely voters on land-line phones and cellphones. The survey has a margin of error 3.1 percentage points.


From the May 24, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.