We Need A Food Safety System Capable of Combating Dangerous Food Imports (Rep. Bart Stupak)

Today, we held the third hearing by the Subcommittee dealing with the safety and security of our Nation’s food supply.  This hearing focused on the safety of food imported into the United States and the adequacy of the efforts of both the FDA and the USDA to protect Americans from unsafe, imported food.  We examined what food safety and quality control systems other countries use to protect their food imports.

At a time when food imports are sharply increasing, FDA inspections of imported food have decreased by 90% from 50,000 inspections in 1972 to just 5,000 in 2006.  The FDA now inspects less than 1 percent of all imports and only a fraction of that number are even tested.  This is simply unacceptable. 

We need a food safety system capable of combating dangerous food imports.  Unfortunately, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s current system is woefully inadequate.

Due to the globalization of the American economy, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of imported food in recent years.
American consumption of imported food will continue to rise in the future.  So now more than ever, our country’s federal food safety system needs to be strong enough to protect the public health, our national security, and our economy.  Today’s hearing will discuss what must be done to make this necessity a reality.

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