Rylee wasn’t the only Nevadan to suffer from life-threatening food poison, but her story serves as a stark reminder of why food safety laws should have been updated a long time ago. Because of her and others, I worked hard to make that happen.
As a result, I was pleased when, about a year ago, on January 4, 2011, President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act into law, marking the first expansion of food safety and security laws since the 1930s. This bi-partisan bill overwhelmingly passed the Senate and allows the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enact much-needed improvements to the food production and distribution system.
We mark the one-year-anniversary of that modern food safety law this month and, as food outbreaks and recalls have continued, we must remain steadfast in implementing the new law. On this front, Nevadans scored a victory last month when the FDA received the 2012 funding it needs to improve how we inspect food before it reaches grocery stores and dinner tables.
Yet inaction on other vital measures threatens the integrity of the law. The Food Safety Accountability Act would hold accountable those who knowingly violate food safety standards and place tainted food products on the market. While this bill passed unanimously in the Senate last April, Republicans in the House of Representatives refuse to even hold a vote on this important provision.
After decades of inaction, we can’t wait for more children to suffer like Rylee did. While America has one of the safest and most abundant food supplies in the world, too many are sickened by food-borne illness each year. I will continue working on this issue to ensure that harmful foods stay out of Boulder City stores and kitchens.
Contact Harry Reid at http://reid.senate.gov/