Durbin, 6 other U.S. senators call for full funding of food-safety law
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and six other senators sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee, requesting that it fully fund the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) food-safety provisions mandated in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Since the bill was signed into law in 2011, the FSMA has been funded with less than half of what is needed for full implementation.
The letter was prompted by Blue Bell Creameries' recent recall of ice cream nationwide over listeria concerns and the Hy-Vee supermarket chain's recall of potentially contaminated pasta salad across the Midwest, also over listeria fears. Three deaths have been linked to Blue Bell products.
“The Food Safety Modernization Act was enacted to bring our nation’s food safety system into the 21st century by enabling our agencies to prevent food contamination rather than reacting once illnesses have occurred.," the senators said in the letter. "Prevention is key, given that food-borne pathogens cause an estimated 48 million illnesses and 3,000 deaths annually."
Durbin was joined by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Brian Schatz (D-HI).