Foodborne infection victims press Senate to act on food safety bill

Survivors of foodborne infections — and the families of victims who died — are pressing senators to pass a food safety bill this month. The House passed its version of food safety legislation last July.

In a recent letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the national public health organization Safe Tables Our Priority (S.T.O.P.) and the Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention wrote that they are becoming "increasingly frustrated by the failure to bring this important, public health measure to a vote."

"It is unacceptable for the U.S. to continue with its current food safety regulatory system simply because reforming our food safety laws hasn’t been made a priority," reads the letter, signed by dozens of victims and families. "We are deeply concerned that the full Senate has not yet taken up the bipartisan legislation to correct this problem, and ask you to ensure that it will be considered and passed in June."

Food safety legislation has bipartisan support and would strengthen the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by giving regulators mandatory recall authority, easier access to company records and the power to impose civil monetary penalties.