David Byrne, Alltech (#322)
David Byrne, a former European commissioner for health and consumer protection who now works at the Nicholasville-based biotech company Alltech, talks about food safety.
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Byrne describes the process of “traceability,” which he helped establish in the European Union. This process ensures that food processors and manufacturers know exactly where the ingredients they use come from and where their products end up. If a food safety crisis arises, the source of the problem is easily found, and any defective foods can be completely removed from supermarkets in a matter of hours. As Byrne puts it, traceability puts safety rules in place “from farm to fork.”
In the interview, Byrne goes on to talk about food quality, the economic and political costs of subpar regulations, and the differences between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the corresponding European system. He also discusses his role at Alltech, an animal nutrition company; his efforts to control tobacco usage in the EU, including a ban on advertising and sponsorship of tobacco products; and worldwide hunger and poverty.