Senate Passes Historic Food Safety Bill

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Elizabeth Hitchcock
Public Health Advocate
Office: 202-546-9470 x316
Elizabeth@pirg.org

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 - "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.
###

U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.

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