Lawmakers Call for Creation of Single Food Safety Agency Combining FDA, USDA, and Others

Currently, food safety is regulated amongst 15 different US agencies

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Democratic members of Congress are again calling for a unified institution to lead an “integrated, system-wide approach to food safety.”

Two democratic Congress members, Richard Durbin (Ill.) and Rosa DeLauro (Conn.) have proposed a bill as of Wednesday, January 28, calling for the creation of a single food safety agency that combines the functions of the United States Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, and other agencies, reports Reuters.

The bill, which calls for a single federal agency whose administrator would be appointed directly by the President, is the Safe Food Act of 2015.

There are presently 15 different agencies responsible for the oversight of food safety standards within the United States, resulting in “a patchwork where no single voice guides industry, retailers and consumers.” Similar legislation has been proposed by Durbin and DeLauro in 1999, 2004, 2005, and 2007.

If passed, the Safe Food Act would streamline food safety inspections, enforcement, and labeling into a single agency; hold the authority to recall unsafe food, require the ability for food to be traced back to its source to better identify outbreaks, and establish a public health assessment and education system, among other things. 

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