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Elements missing in industry food safety proposal

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Washington, DC— Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, says that today’s Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) proposal on food safety fails to endorse needed key food safety reforms, including Country of Origin labeling and enactment of clear Food and Drug Administration recall authority.
In Consumers Union polls, 92 percent of Americans favor mandatory Country of Origin labeling, and 97 percent think federal agencies should have the authority to recall tainted meat. “If the industry is serious about maintaining consumer confidence in the food supply, they must endorse these measures,” stated Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union.
“The FDA currently inspects less than 1 percent of the food entering the country, and on has inspectors stationed at only 90 of the more than 300 ports of entry through which food may arrive. FDA must be given the resources to address these shortcomings,” Halloran said.
“The GMA’s proposal acknowledges that the FDA has been decimated by budget cuts over the last decade and needs to be rebuilt to protect the public. However its proposal fails to says where the funds will come from. Several bills in Congress propose user fees on food imports to pay for increased inspection at the borders, an approach Consumer’s Union supports,” Halloran said.
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Jennifer Fuson, 202-462-6262
Naomi Starkman 917-539-3924