Modernizing our Food Safety System
The recent national recall of nearly half of a billion eggs is yet another example of why Congress must modernize our more than 100-year-old food safety system. Because it is my priority to protect the health and safety of Pennsylvanians, I believe it is necessary to pass legislation that provides the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the tools and the authority to ensure contaminated foods do not make it onto our kitchen tables or into our children’s lunchboxes. While the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has had strong egg safety regulations in place for many years, the FDA only this year instituted strong national regulations that could possibly have prevented this current recall.
There are 76 million cases of foodborne illness in this country each year, sending approximately 300,000 people to the hospital. This is unacceptable. Americans have every right to demand a safe food supply. As a father and as a consumer, I demand that the food I buy be safe to eat. I believe that S. 510 promotes health and safety and will be beneficial to the people of Pennsylvania. That is why I support S. 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act.
The Food Safety and Modernization Act improves the FDA’s capacity to detect and respond to foodborne illnesses by assessing safety threats at food facilities, increasing inspection of imported foods, and exploring new ways to track fruits and vegetables in the case of an outbreak. S. 510 provides the FDA the authority to issue a mandatory recall, a provision that could have drastically improved how the current egg recall was handled. In addition, this bill contains multiple provisions from the Ending Agricultural Threats: Safeguarding America’s Food for Everyone, otherwise known as the EAT SAFE Act, which I introduced in the 110th and 111th Congresses. These provisions add personnel to detect, track and remove smuggled food and call for the development and implementation of strategies to stop food from being smuggled into the United States.