Congressman Adam Putnam (R-FL) has said he is pleased with the direction food safety legislation is taking in the House of Representatives. The Food Safety Enhancement Act (H.R. 2749) was marked up in the Energy and Commerce Committee today.
“This legislation includes the key principles we established in the bipartisan legislation I introduced with Congressman Jim Costa (D-Calif.) earlier this year,” said Putnam. “It expands the authority of the Food and Drug administration (FDA) to quickly respond to threats to our nation’s food supply. It strengthens preventative measures with new science- and risk-based food safety standards. It calls for updated food safety plans within food operations domestically and abroad to identify and prevent potential sources of food-borne illness. And it holds imported foods to American safety standards.
“There are still opportunities to make improvements to this legislation,” said Putnam. “We really need to ensure this promotes solid collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and states, often those with the most knowledge of on-farm practices. A strong system of coordination can help prevent food safety scares such as we had in Florida last year when the FDA mistakenly implicated tomatoes in a Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak.”
Putnam is the coauthor of the ‘‘Safe Food Enforcement, Assessment, Standards, and Targeting Act of 2009’’ or ‘‘Safe FEAST Act” (HR 1332). Putnam has represented Florida’s 12th Congressional District, which includes most of Polk County and portions of Hillsborough and Osceola counties.
(Note for additional information on the Safe FEAST Act and food safety, see Congressman Putnam’s Legislative News Kit at http://adamputnam.house.gov/putnam/food_safety.shtml)