DeLauro, Durbin introduce bill to establish separate food safety agency
House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., today introduced the Food Safety Administration Act, legislation that would establish the Food Safety Administration, a single food safety agency within the Health and Human Services Department.
The Food Safety Administration Act would establish the Food Safety Administration under the Department of Health and Human Services by incorporating the existing food programs within FDA into this separate agency: the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Center for Veterinary Medicine, and the Office of Regulatory Affairs. This agency would be led by a food safety expert confirmed by the Senate.
“Food safety is currently a second-class citizen at the Food and Drug Administration,” said DeLauro. “Right now, there are no food policy experts in charge of food safety at the FDA. That is unacceptable and contributes to a string of product contaminations and subsequent recalls that disrupt the supply chain, contribute to rising prices and, in many cases, result in consumer illness and death. Look no further than the recent infant formula crisis to understand the need to create a single food safety agency, led by a food policy expert, to ensure the safety of products that go to market. I’m proud to join my friend Sen. Durbin in introducing legislation that would strengthen food safety and protect consumers.”
“In recent years, FDA has been plagued by one failure after another — from a failure to properly recognize the dangers of prescription opioids, to a failure to protect children from e-cigarette products, to a failure to properly ensure the safety of our nation’s food supply,” said Durbin. “The sad reality is that FDA seems unwilling or unable to use their authority to protect Americans from preventable illness and death. For that reason, Congresswoman DeLauro and I are introducing legislation to transfer all of FDA’s food responsibilities to a new agency that, we hope, will have more success in protecting the foods in our kids’ lunch boxes and on our dining room tables.”
The legislation is endorsed by Center for Food Safety, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Reports, Defend Our Health, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Healthy Babies Bright Futures, STOP Foodborne Illness, and Center for Environmental Health.
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