We Need to Safeguard the Health of American Consumers (Rep. John Dingell)
Recent reports of tainted food and drug imports have made it clear that we need legislation aimed at safeguarding the health of American consumers. We are now importing twice as much food as we were a decade ago, yet the Food and Drug Administration examines less than one percent of it. It’s time to tighten safety measures and prevent harmful products from slipping into our nation’s food and drug supply.
That’s why I’ve developed a legislative proposal that would prevent the Secretary of Health and Human Services from closing or consolidating any of the current 13 FDA field laboratories and grant the agency new authorities to:
- Issue mandatory recalls;
- Require country of origin labeling;
- Limits the number of ports of entry for food items;
- Halt imports of certain products until a foreign facility can demonstrate that significant steps have been taken to rectify an identified problem; and
- Increase civil monetary penalties for manufacturers or importers that violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
I’m currently soliciting input on this proposal and look forward to introducing a comprehensive food and drug safety bill this fall.