Thursday, July 30, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, today applauded members of the U.S. House of Representatives for approving a historic bill to overhaul the nation’s food-safety system, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 (“FSEA,” H.R. 2749). The House approved the bill by a vote of 283-142.
Jean Halloran, Consumers Union’s campaign director for food safety, said, “This is a major milestone towards making our food safer and repairing our badly broken food-safety system. Consumers want to trust that the food they eat – no matter where it comes from – won’t harm them. We appreciate the hard work of Congress to move forward to assure that consumers will have safe, affordable and sustainably-produced food. This bill will go a long way to prevent a repeat of deadly contaminations like the salmonella-laced peanut butter that caused hundreds of illnesses and nine deaths earlier this year.”
Consumers Union has long advocated for measures contained in the FSEA to improve food safety by giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to recall contaminated food, requiring FDA to inspect high-risk facilities at least every six months to a year, and enacting other critical reforms, citing the string of serious food-borne illnesses linked to peanut butter, spinach, peppers, and other common foods.
Ami Gadhia, policy counsel for Consumers Union, said, “This bill will make a fundamental difference in keeping our food safe and our families safe. This reform is long overdue, and we’re optimistic that the momentum is building for these changes to finally become law. We commend the House leadership for taking action and finding common ground on food safety. We hope the Senate will act promptly to pass a similarly strong bill after the recess.”
David Butler or Kristina Edmunson, 202-462-6262
Naomi Starkman, (917) 539-3924
Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers.