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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Rep. John Dingell Calls out “Slow to Act” Senate on Food Safety Legislation

The Hill’s, J. Taylor Rushing caught Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the longest serving member of the House and author of the lower chamber’s food safety bill, calling out the Senate as being “slow to act” on the bipartisan bill that passed the House.

Dingell’s bill passed the House last July on a 283-142 vote. He hailed it as “a monumental piece of bipartisan legislation that will grant FDA the authorities and resources needed to effectively oversee an increasingly global food marketplace.”

The Senate bill is less controversial than the House. Some of the more contentious issues, such as imposing fees on food facilities to help finance FDA’s food safety inspection efforts, were not included in the HELP-passed measure.

Among other provisions, the legislation would do the following:

• Attempt to prevent food-borne illnesses from reaching the population by requiring food-processing plants to upgrade the frequency and thoroughness of their safety inspections;

• Require the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department and Agriculture Department to jointly develop a national plan to improve food safety, as well as an HHS requirement for a national system to better prevent possible problems in the food supply;

• Grant HHS greater authority to order recalls of suspected tainted food;

• Improve inspections of foreign food imported into the U.S.

Dingell may be old, but he certainly gets it.  I hear he is running for re-election – where do I send my check?