Salmonella Outbreak in Peanut Butter Shows Food Safety System Flaws; Consumers Union Applauds Lawmakers on Introduction of Safe Food Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Consumers Union commends Senator Richard Durbin and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro for their leadership in introducing the Safe Food Act, a bill that will establish a single food agency with enhanced powers.

"The health and wellbeing of American consumers is too important to allow the status quo to continue -- a patchwork system of 15 agencies administering at least 30 laws, all having some piece of the regulation of food safety," said Sally Greenberg, senior counsel at Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine. The current system has proven to be inadequate to the task of keeping consumers safe, with all too frequent salmonella and E coli outbreaks, all-time high rates of campylobacter contamination in poultry, and millions of Americans falling sick each year from related foodborne illness.

Greenberg added, "A single food agency with enhanced powers could conduct more systematic inspections, would have authority to recall hazardous food products, could conduct enforcement actions against violators, and could allow for tracing of hazardous food products back to plants or suppliers. Consumers Union supports this legislation and looks forward to working with its sponsors to see it enacted into law. One food agency with strong powers would be better positioned to prevent problems like the recent salmonella outbreak in peanut butter.

Consumers Union is calling for the creation of a single food agency to ensure adequate, efficient, and effective oversight of the nation's food supply. Consumer Reports magazine, published by Consumers Union, frequently researches and tests food for safe consumption.

Source: Consumers Union