US lawmakers propose single food safety agency

by Erica Shaffer
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Sen. Richard Durbin and Rep. Rosa DeLauro make a second attempt to create a single food safety agency.

WASHINGTON – Federal legislators recently introduced the Safe Food Act of 2015, a bill that would create a single food safety agency. US Sen. Richard Durbin and US Rep. Rosa DeLauro introduced the bill.

The Safe Food Act would give a single agency the authority to require recalls of unsafe food and full food traceability to identify sources of foodborne illness outbreaks, among other powers.

“The fragmented nature of our food safety system has left us more vulnerable to the risk of foodborne illness. It has too often forced citizens to go it alone in the case of outbreak,” Durbin said in a statement. “The Safe Food Act that Congresswoman DeLauro and I are introducing today would transfer and consolidate food safety authorities for inspections, enforcement, labeling, and research into a single food safety agency. That would allow us to prioritize system-wide food safety goals and targets. It would also help families navigate the differing federal, state, and local food safety agencies to get the answers they deserve.”

DeLauro said a single food safety agency is a “21st century way of ensuring food safety”.

“Government has a moral responsibility to keep our families safe from foodborne illness,” DeLauro said. “One reason we have not been able to do so is that our food safety system is hopelessly fragmented and outdated. Consequently, lives are unnecessarily put at risk and the need for reform becomes more urgent.”

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