Food Safety Bill a Good Start Towards Safer Food System

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Anna Ghosh,
415-293-9905,
aghosh(at)fwwatch(dot)org

Food Safety Bill a Good Start Towards Safer Food System

Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch

WASHINGTON - “The Senate’s passage of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act is a
long overdue step towards closing loopholes in the food safety rules
administered by the Food and Drug Administration.

“The bill, which must now be adopted by the House or reconciled in a
conference committee with the House legislation passed last year, would
give the FDA mandatory recall authority and require inspection of food
processing plants by FDA. The Senate version of the bill is weaker than
the version passed by the House last year when it comes to standards
for imported foods and frequency of FDA inspection for food processing
plants.

“But the Senate bill includes important provisions that exempt very
small businesses and farms that sell direct to consumers from some
requirements. Specifically, the bill exempts very small businesses and
farms from the food safety plan and produce safety requirements of the
bill, while leaving them subject to state and local laws. The bill also
creates a food safety training grant program for small farms, and
instructs FDA to provide flexibility for small farms and processors to
comply with new regulations.

“After years of recalls and investigations into illnesses, it’s time
for FDA to update its food safety programs. This bill will start that
process.

“The next big step towards a safer food system is reauthorization of
the Farm Bill. The next Farm Bill should provide fair access to markets
for farmers, break up food monopolies, and require meatpackers to pay
farmers a fair price for their livestock so they can maintain their
operations without turning them into factory farms. Factory farms
increase the risk of pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella that cause
foodborne illness in people. As we learned from the egg recall this past
summer, bad practices on even a few factory farms can end up on
everyone’s plate.”

For more information on factory farms, visit www.factoryfarmmap.org.

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Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

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