DeLauro proposes food safety bill

February 5, 2009
by Peter Urban
Connecticut Post

The latest outbreak of salmonella from tainted peanut butter has killed eight and sickened more than 500 people across America. In mid-January, food inspectors confirmed the presence of salmonella bacteria in an unopened, five-pound tub of peanut butter found at a Connecticut food distributor.

The outbreak has prompted a criminal investigation of the peanut processor and renewed DeLauro's efforts to revamp the FDA.

DeLauro introduced legislation Wednesday, along with more than two dozen co-sponsors, that would bring food safety under a single commission within FDA. She introduced a similar bill last year.

Under her proposal, FDA would be split into an agency responsible for food safety and another responsible for regulation of drugs and devices. The bill would also put the focus on preventing contamination rather than simply identifying outbreaks.

DeLauro's bill is also backed by an alphabet soup of advocacy groups including the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Safe Tables Our Priority, Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Food & Water Watch, and the Trust for America's Health.

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