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FDA, Do Your Job, But Get It Right

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Mr. Speaker, the Food and Drug Administration has an extremely important job to make certain that our food is safe, but it is often misguided and overreaches in some of its regulations.

The FDA is considering a standard that would severely impact artisan cheese producers. They have proposed a safety standard that seeks to limit the level of nontoxigenic E. coli found in raw milk cheeses.

The problem is there is absolutely no scientific connection between meeting that standard and improving food and safety. Yet, there is a very practical, burdensome impact on our artisan cheese makers.

It is why the ICMSF, the leading global food safety body, the European Union, and many U.S. food safety experts have argued that monitoring raw milk cheeses for nontoxigenic E. coli is absolutely unwarranted. In spite of that international consensus, the FDA is forging ahead, and it is going to do real damage to our artisan cheese makers.

Artisan cheese makers already have rigorous protocols in place to ensure safety. That is why I led a bipartisan, bicameral group of colleagues in sending a letter to FDA raising concerns with this standard: FDA, do your job, but get it right.

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