For Immediate Release: June 17, 2011
TFAH Statement on the FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill: Dangerous for America’s Health
Washington, DC, June 17, 2011 – The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) warns that the FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, which narrowly passed the House of Representatives on June 16, will be dangerous to the future health of Americans. The following is a statement by Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH.
“The FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill will impair the ability of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to protect America’s food supply and address other critical public health issues.
As has become well known, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year about 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases. The total economic impact of foodborne illness to society has been estimated at over $100 billion annually.
It would be in the best interest of all Americans if the Senate brought the bill back to the right place, instead of the current iteration which slashes funding for important food safety and nutrition programs in both the FDA and USDA.
It is especially disconcerting that provisions in the bill will restrict FDA’s ability to develop policy based on science and the protection of the public’s health. Congress should not undercut the FDA's authority to make scientific decisions.
The bill also includes provisions which would harm public health by impeding school nutrition standards and menu labeling efforts which help children and parents make healthy eating choices while children are away from home.
TFAH will work with the Senate to ensure that the final legislation does not obstruct the FDA’s and USDA’s ability to address these critical public health issues. Congress should not hamper the FDA’s ability to take regulatory action based on sound evidence.”
Trust for America’s Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org