I received a response from my congressperson about my concerns with recent recall outbreaks from China. Although food safety is a huge concern, she unfortunately failed to mention the other part of my request – that the US Government put greater pressure on Chinese officials, Chinese Exporters and US Importers to ensure the safety of our people and of the global environment.
Her response is below…
Thank you for contacting me about H.R. 2108, the “Human and Pet Food Safety Act.” I appreciate the opportunity to learn your views and share mine.
You will be pleased to learn that I am a cosponsor of this important legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). Recent outbreaks of food-borne illnesses have highlighted the need for more oversight of our domestically-produced and imported food. I have been very involved in this debate since I first introduced my own food safety legislation in 2003. This legislation would provide the federal government with the authority to order recalls of food following an outbreak. Under current law, the food industry alone decides whether or not to issue a recall of contaminated food. My bill would also establish a system to track food products from the farm to the grocery store, enabling faster identification of sources following an outbreak.
Additionally, I am the Vice Chair of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, which is currently conducting an investigation into recent food safety concerns. Our committee has already held several hearings looking into the recent outbreaks in spinach, lettuce, peanut butter, and pet food. While our investigation is ongoing, we are also developing comprehensive food safety legislation to fix some of the problems we have identified at these hearings. Please be assured that as this debate continues, I will keep your views in mind and be a strong advocate for a stronger food safety system.
Again, thank you for letting me know your views. Please feel free to visit my website at www.house.gov/degette . There you can sign up for my e-newsletter to stay up-to-date on current events in Congress. I look forward to our continued communication.