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Reuters- Rep. DeLauro, Administration Urge Congress to Improve the Safety of Imported Food

Reuters- Rep. DeLauro, Administration Urge Congress to Improve the Safety of Imported Food

Today convened the 2nd Annual Global Food Safety Policy Forum with the Center
for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) in Washington, DC,

 bringing together
policymakers and private experts from around the globe to discuss solutions
that improve food supply in the United States and worldwide.    

 “Food safety is an important segment of the science economy,” said Waters
President Arthur Caputo. “Rising global demand, geographic shifts in to
production, a more competitive marketplace and increasingly stringent
regulatory requirements all affect the delivery of safe food to consumers. We
are here as a partner dedicated to the science behind food safety testing.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, the House of Representative’s leading food safety champion,
delivered the keynote address. She called for a robust U.S. traceability
system, equivalency with trading partners and greater reliance on science and
technology to improve the safety of food imports. “This is about food safety
science and where we want to go,” she said. DeLauro said it was critical that
the Senate pass a strong food safety bill. The House approved a food safety
bill (H.R. 2749) on July 30.

CSPI Director of Food Safety Caroline Smith DeWaal said Congress has taken
steps to improve U.S. food safety but new legislation is needed because the
country is operating under antiquated laws and consumers are increasingly

The Government Accountability Office released a new report at the Forum. The
report concludes that FDA and USDA have taken steps to address the challenges
in ensuring the safety of food imports but the agencies need to make better
use of data available to them to target riskier imports and learn from the
European Union’s system.

The Obama administration, represented by Michael Taylor, an adviser to FDA
Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, said food safety is essentially a supply chain
problem. He described legislative proposals that put the onus for safety of
imports on the importer as the “transformative idea” that would deliver
improvements. He said the U.S. should utilize partnerships and move toward
international standards to improve import safety.