Bill Would Take Food Safety Away from FDA

July 15, 2022
Newly introduced legislation in Congress would take primary responsibility for food safety away from the FDA.

Newly introduced legislation in Congress would take primary responsibility for food safety away from the FDA.

The Food Safety Administration Act was introduced by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.). It would create a new agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services, that would perform the functions of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Center for Veterinary Medicine, and the Office of Regulatory Affairs.

In a press release announcing the legislation, Durbin and DeRosa made it clear that they were motivated by reports of dysfunction at the FDA’s food-safety operations. The agency has come under criticism since an investigative piece at Politico revealed that unclear lines of command and other factors have led to virtual paralysis of the agency’s food-safety function.

“Food safety is currently a second-class citizen at the Food and Drug Administration,” DeLauro said in the statement. “Right now, there are no food policy experts in charge of food safety at the FDA. That is unacceptable and contributes to a string of product contaminations and subsequent recalls that disrupt the supply chain, contribute to rising prices, and in many cases, result in consumer illness and death.”

DeLauro’s release says that the legislation is endorsed by consumer advocacy groups including the Center for Food Safety and STOP Foodborne Illness.

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