WASHINGTON, D.C. — Erik D. Olson, director of the Pew Health Group food programs, issued the following statement commending the U.S. Senate for passing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510):
“We applaud the U.S. Senate's passage of historic bipartisan food safety legislation. It is a major step toward improving how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protects people from preventable illnesses that sicken millions and kill thousands of Americans every year.
“Repeated disease outbreaks from contaminated foods, including eggs, lettuce, spinach, cookie dough, peanut products and so many other foods illustrate how serious foodborne disease problems continue to harm consumers and the food industry's bottom line.
“This legislation will guarantee stronger rules regarding the safety of imported foods, strengthen safety standards for food facilities and provide the FDA with the power to issue a mandatory recall of contaminated food, among other authorities. This is crucial because the FDA is responsible for the safety of 80 percent of the nation's food supply.
“We would like to thank the leaders of this effort including Sens. Richard Durbin (D-IL), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Michael Enzi (R-WY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Judd Gregg (R-NH), as well as the countless supporters of this bill.
“It is our hope that this legislation is brought to the president's desk as soon as possible.”
Click here for a video of Erik Olson discussing the Senate's historic vote.