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CONTACT: Consumers Union
Kristina Edmunson, 202-462-6262
Egg Recall Grows; Consumers Union Calls for Senate Action on Food Safety Bill
WASHINGTON - August 23 - As the recall of salmonella-contaminated eggs, previously 380 million, expanded with a new recall from Hillandale Farms of 170 million additional eggs, Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, today called on the Senate to pass S. 510, The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, as soon as it comes back into session in September.
"The contamination of eggs underlines that we urgently need improvements in the way FDA regulates the safety of food," said Jean Halloran, Director, Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union.
The pending Senate bill would give FDA authority to order a recall in the event that a company did not voluntarily recall tainted products, and would improve procedures for tracing tainted food back to its source.
In response to questions from Consumers Union at a consumer briefing last Thursday, the FDA indicated that its current investigation at Wright County Egg company is the agency's first ever visit to this or any other egg producer. New standards for the operation of such facilities, which FDA said could have prevented this outbreak and were under development for many years, just went into effect last month.
"We need a more proactive approach to food safety across the board. Over the last several years we have seen illnesses and deaths from eating cookie dough, peanut butter and spinach. The pending Senate food safety bill would put FDA in the business of preventing outbreaks, rather than trying to deal with them after people get sick. The bill will also increase the frequency with which FDA inspects food processors and require it to create on-farm safety standards for produce," Halloran added.