Thoughts from a Yellow Dog Democrat living in Olympia, in the great BLUE state of Washington

I am a liberal because it is the political philosophy of freedom and equality. And I am a progressive because it is the political path to a better future. And I am a Democrat because it is the political party that believes in freedom, equality and progress. -- Digby

Monday, August 27, 2007

Congressman Smith Responds to Food Safety Concerns

I got this letter from Congressman Adam Smith's office on food safety:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about food safety oversight at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) . . .

First, let me say I agree the FDA needs to do a much better job of ensuring the safety of the nation's food supply. Consumers count on government agencies to verify the food production practices followed by suppliers are consistent with public health principles. I am committed to ensuring the FDA has the personnel, procedures and equipment necessary to protect our nation's food supply.

. . . Please be assured I will do all I can to ensure changes are made at the FDA to improve the quality of food monitoring to ensure food safety for all. I also hope and expect that the hearings will result in several creative ideas for reforming our food safety regulations.

For fiscal year 2007 (FY07), the food safety activities within the FDA were funded at $380 million and under President Bush's FY08 budget request, the food safety activities and programs within the FDA would receive $391 million, an increase of $11 million from the FY07 level. I support this increase in funding, which will help develop better and more rapid methods of detecting food borne illness outbreaks and increase surveillance capabilities at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. By increasing the resources and the number of experts in the fresh produce microbiological safety issues and food safety analysis, the FDA will focus on reducing illness due to contamination and allow food back on the shelves quickly once a threat has ceased. As the FY08 budget process continues to be debated in Congress, I will pay close attention to the funding level for food safety programs at the FDA and work to improve this critically important government function ...


Adam Smith
Member of Congress

Looks like he "gets it". Yeah!

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