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Statement of TexPIRG Advocate Melissa Cubria on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives, strengthening the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety authority for the first time in seventy years.
“Tonight’s passage of new food safety protections is a historic and long-awaited victory for American consumers, who deserve to trust that the food they bring home from the grocery store and serve to their families won’t make them sick.
“Consumers have too often been told in the last year that the food they’ve purchased is unsafe to eat. Once enacted, this historic legislation will establish critical protections from preventable food-borne illness.
“According to an analysis released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six Americans get sick, tens of thousands are hospitalized, and more than 3000 people die each year in the United States from eating contaminated food. These numbers represent unacceptable preventable illnesses that the public health protections in this bill will address.
“TexPIRG applauds the persistence of the food safety bill’s House and Senate sponsors and our colleagues from a tremendous coalition of food safety advocates. We are also grateful to the victims of foodborne illness who have come forward to tell their stories.”
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act will protect consumers by:
- Requiring more frequent inspections of food facilities to make sure they are following the rules.
- Giving the FDA the authority to order a recall of dangerous food.
- 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.
- Setting standards for imported food to end the practice by foreign producers of dumping unsafe food on the American market.
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