Consumer Federation of America expressed strong support for the Safe Food Act of 2015, introduced today by Senator Richard Durbin and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. The legislation would consolidate federal food safety activities into one independent single food safety agency.
“Food safety is a critical public health issue,” said Chris Waldrop, Director of the Food Policy Institute at Consumer Federation of America. “But right now, responsibility for food safety is scattered among 15 different agencies. We need one independent agency focused on the safety of the entire food supply.”
The burden of foodborne illness on the public is huge. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year, 48 million Americans are sickened by foodborne illness, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Currently, food safety responsibilities are divided among 15 agencies administering some 30 laws. The Safe Food Act of 2015 would create a single independent agency and assign responsibility to a single administrator responsible for all of the nation’s food safety programs and for their budgets.
The legislation would revise existing food safety statutes to allocate resources according to risk, provide authority to set and enforce pathogen reduction performance standards, require testing for dangerous pathogens, authorize mandatory recalls, and penalize companies that knowingly sell dangerous food.
“A single food safety agency would allow us to better focus our resources where the greatest risks lie,” Waldrop said. “The Safe Food Act is a strong vision for the future of food safety.”
CFA is grateful to Senator Durbin and Representative DeLauro and their staff for introducing this legislation and for their dedication to improving our food safety system. CFA looks forward to working with them on this important legislation.
Contact: Chris Waldrop 202-797-8551
Consumer Federation of America is an association of 280 non-profit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, education and advocacy.