From the Summary: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that each year in the United States 76 million people get sick, 325,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 die from food-related illnesses. Food-borne illness is a serious public health problem. Often, people do not seek medical help and their illness is not officially reported. Yet consumers have become aware of the serious consequences of illnesses linked to a growing variety of foods, produced domestically or imported. Consumers want the government to regulate the food supply, and industry is interested in producing foods that are safe at a reasonable price. As a result there is congressional interest in oversight and legislation in this area. Several federal agencies, along with cooperating agencies in the states, are responsible for assuring the safety, wholesomeness, and proper labeling of all foods for human consumption in the United States."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB98009