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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Senate Passes Historic Food Safety Bill
Statement of U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate Elizabeth Hitchcock, on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which passed the U.S. Senate by a 73 to 25 vote earlier this morning.
WASHINGTON - November 30 - "This morning, the U.S. Senate finally set aside partisan differences and passed historic legislation to protect consumers from preventable food-borne illness.
"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four Americans get sick, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and more than 5000 people die each year from eating contaminated food. It's unacceptable that this continues in the United States in the 21st Century.
"The House of Representatives passed its food safety bill more than a year ago. Since then, there have been more than 100 voluntary recalls of FDA regulated foods because of pathogens like salmonella and E coli.
"Congress should work quickly to finalize the bill and deliver it to the President's desk without further delay."
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act will protect consumers by:
- Requiring the food manufacturers to have food-safety plans that will prevent contaminated food from reaching consumers.
- Setting responsible standards for produce safety, so parents can have confidence that fresh fruits and vegetables are nutritious and safe to serve to their children.
- Requiring more frequent inspections of food facilities to make sure they are following the rules.
- Setting standards for imported food to end the practice by foreign producers of dumping unsafe food on the American market.