Confidence in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ability to ensure the safety of our food supply has seriously eroded. Its failure to react effectively to tainted foreign and domestic food products entering our food supply resulted in skepticism and nervousness by consumers in the FDA’s ability to protect them. It is absolutely necessary that consumers are confident with this new technology before these foods arrive on our store shelves.

The FDA currently does not have the authority to recall tainted foods and lacks a product tracing system for contamination in foods. It is not only important that the FDA assure Congress that they have the ability to deal with the potential risks of genetically-altered foods in the U.S. marketplace, but also develop a robust oversight program for consumers.

My subcommittee in Congress, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, should conduct hearings into the risks and challenges associated with foods derived from cloned animals allowed in to our food supply. I would like to invite the FDA and relevant third-parties to present their data and findings before Congress as we move forward. With the confidence in the FDA already shaken, vigorous oversight is needed -- whether these foods will require special labeling, further third-party testing, or additional inspection, all remains to be seen in order to ensure consumer confidence.