Thursday, January 8, 2009

DeLauro - salmonella should have jurisdiction of one agency

From the office of Rep. Rosa DeLauro:

Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (Conn. -3) issued the following statement on the on-going investigation into a salmonella outbreak that has infected at least 388 people in 42 states since 3 September 2008. Because the source of the outbreak is unknown, it is unclear whether this outbreak falls under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration or the Department of Agriculture.

DeLauro will soon reintroduce, the Food Safety Modernization Act, which would split the FDA into two separate agencies – dividing the food safety responsibilities from the drug and device safety responsibilities.

“A frightening aspect of this salmonella outbreak is the jurisdictional limbo that has been created since the cause of the outbreak has yet to be determined. The involvement of both the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in this investigation is limited right now until the source, and jurisdiction, can be established.

“This jurisdictional limbo is potentially dangerous because it delays the investigation into an outbreak that began over four months ago, and any delays in these critical investigations can sicken more people.

“The scope of this recent salmonella outbreak is a reminder that reforming and modernizing our food safety laws should be a top priority in the new Congress. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Obama Administration on achieving that goal.”

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