Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Groups call for Food Safety Update

Three non-profits released a study today titled “Recipe for Disaster” calling on the Senate to pass legislation updating the Food and Drug Administration’s authority to safeguard the nation’s food supply in light of more than 85 recalls involving 153 companies just since the House passed such a bill with bipartisan support in July, 2009.

The recall in August of half a billion salmonella-contaminated eggs by two Iowa farms was voluntary and came two and a half months after the first illness was detected. The FDA does not currently have the authority to mandate a recall but would under the new legislation.

It would also improve the FDA’s ability to trace pathogens back to their source, as well as mandating and increasing inspections. Alana Miller, Program Associate of PennPIRG, says there are currently facilities that haven’t been inspected for 5 or 6 years. She says the food supply has undergone significant changes since the FDA's authority was last updated 70 years ago, and consumers deserve to know their food is safe before it gets into their kitchens and on their tables.

The Consumer Federation of America and the Center for Science in the Public Interest have teamed up with PennPIRG to urge the Senate to take up the legislation, which Miller says has been overshadowed by other items on the agenda.

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