Sometime this morning, right after the full House votes on the Food Safety Enhancement Act (the discussion starts at 8:30 a.m. MST), Representative Diana DeGette and other members of the working group that pushed the measure will hold a press conference to discuss its ramifications.
In anticipation of this day, which DeGette has been waiting for a long, long time, she penned a food-safety op-ed discussing how provisions in this bill will improve the country's food-safety system, with provisions for mandatory recall authority and traceability. "The salmonella scare of 2008 left almost 1,500 people across 43 states sick -- with tomatoes first incorrectly suspected as the culprit and jalapeños in Mexico later identified to be the source," DeGette writes. "Earlier this year, nine people died and thousands were sickened as a result of tainted peanut butter. And most recently, meat from my home state of Colorado was pulled from store shelves. The cavalcade of recalls leads one to ask: What outbreak will be next? More importantly, how can we prevent it? After each crisis and subsequent recall, it has become glaringly clear that our food safety system is broken...."
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The full piece was published yesterday in The Mission Ahead, Roll Call's online policy forum; read it here.