The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Ensuring Safe Foods and Medical Products Through Stronger Regulatory Systems Abroad (2012)

A very high portion of the seafood we eat comes from abroad, mainly from China and Southeast Asia, and most of the active ingredients in medicines we take originate in other countries. Many low- and middle-income countries have lower labor costs and fewer and less stringent environmental regulations than the United States, making them attractive places to produce food and chemical ingredients for export. Safe Foods and Medical Products Through Stronger Regulatory Systems Abroad explains that the diversity and scale of imports makes it impractical for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) border inspections to be sufficient to ensure product purity and safety, and incidents such as American deaths due to adulterated heparin imported from China propelled the problem into public awareness.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

Each year, how many Americans become infected by what they eat?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Each year about 76 million Americans—or one in four—become infected by what they eat. Approximately 325,000 are hospitalized. More than 5,000 (14 a day) die.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Each year about 76 million Americans—or one in four—become infected by what they eat. Approximately 325,000 are hospitalized. More than 5,000 (14 a day) die.

  • Correct!

    Each year about 76 million Americans—or one in four—become infected by what they eat. Approximately 325,000 are hospitalized. More than 5,000 (14 a day) die.