Today, Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI12) released the statement below, following the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) announcement of two new proposed rules implementing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. Congressman Dingell was an original author of the food safety legislation, signed one year ago today by President Barack Obama.
"The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act serves an absolutely necessary purpose in ensuring the safety and security of the American people. These two proposed rules are evidence of tremendous progress in the advancement of implementing this important legislation. Food-borne illness, disease, and death are all unnecessary dangers to our nation in today's level of inspection science and medical advancements. A properly enforced and funded Food Safety Modernization Act not only provides for the safety of lives, but also critical savings in improved health, and a properly functioning industry that can earn the public's trust.
"With the proposal of these two measures, I also continue my call to provide FDA with the full funding needed -- whether through user fees or appropriations -- to adequately provide for implementation and enforcement of every level of Congressional intent in this law. I believe that success of this law lies in giving the Administration, and the American people, the assurance of continued and certain funding so that FDA can properly and fully use the tools given to them to ensure not only safe and uncontaminated food, but also an industry that functions each and every day with similar intent. FDA estimates that more than 1,250,000 cases of food-borne illness can be prevented by these efforts alone, and I urge my colleagues to join me in continued fight to properly fund this effort.
"I look forward to continuing to work with Commissioner Hamburg, relevant industry, state and local governments, and all national and international stakeholders, to make sure that the food our nation's families consume is safe."
The first proposed rule would require makers of food sold in the United States, whether from a domestic- or foreign-based facility, to develop a plan to prevent their food products from hazards that could cause food-borne illness. The plan is also requires food makers to identify how to correct and eliminate such hazards. The second proposed rule sets safety standards for the production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables. More information on these rules can be found here and here.