Tuesday, May 22 , 2018, 6:39 am | Fair 53º

 
 
 
 

Capps Applauds House Passage of Food Safety Bill

Landmark legislation goes to President Obama for his signature

Rep. Lois Capps on Tuesday applauded passage of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (House Resolution 2751) in the House of Representatives.

The bill passed the Senate unanimously over the weekend and passed the House by a vote of 228-130. House passage of the bill sends it to President Barack Obama’s desk for his signature.

Every year, 76 million Americans are sickened from consuming contaminated food. More than 300,000 people are hospitalized, and 5,000 of these people die. In just the past few years, there has been a string of food-borne illness outbreaks in foods consumed by millions of Americans each day — from contaminated spinach to peanut butter and cookie dough.

The legislation both improves the ability of the Food and Drug Administration to prevent food safety problems and to respond to food-borne illness outbreaks if they do occur. Food producers will be required to devise strategies to prevent contamination in their facilities and test these strategies to ensure their effectiveness. Importers of foreign food also must verify that any product imported from overseas meets food safety standards in the United States. The FDA also will have the authority to recall contaminated food. Currently, companies must voluntarily pull items from store shelves.

“The string of outbreaks of food-borne illness has made it clear that our system for inspecting food is in need of the sweeping reform I was proud to vote for today,” Capps said. “No one should have to wonder if the peanut butter sandwich in their child’s lunch might make them sick, and this legislation will give all consumers peace of mind when they go to the grocery store.”

The bipartisan, landmark bill is supported by a very broad range of organizations, including the Consumer Federation of America, the American Public Health Association, the Trust for America’s Health, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

 

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