Make Our Food Safe

Public Statements


kay hagan Senator Kay Hagen (D-NC), Dec. 21, 2010
"Senator Tester and I worked together to ensure (the Tester amendment) was included in the (FDA Food Safety Modernization Act). Because of this amendment, small farmers can continue bringing their homemade jellies, vegetables and freshly baked bread to the farmers market without being overburdened by new government regulations... This bill now strikes the right balance between preventing food-borne illnesses and ensuring our nation's farmers can stay in business." (Full statement)

reid Senator Harry Reid, D-NV
"Our food safety system has not been updated in almost a century. Families in Nevada and across America should never have to worry about whether the food they put on their table is safe. This is a common-sense issue with broad bipartisan support. Tonight we unanimously passed a measure to improve on our current food safety system by giving the FDA the resources it needs to keep up with advances in food production and marketing, without unduly burdening farmers and food producers." (Full statement)

richard burr Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Nov. 30, 2010
"Our nation's food safety system was designed over a century ago and was appropriate for a world in which most of our food was grown and processed domestically.  I voted in support of S. 510 today because I believe it is important that we modernize and update our approach to food safety to address issues that stem from our increasingly global food supply. After months of discussion and debate, I am confident the final version will work for North Carolina and will protect small processors and farms." (Full statement)

Kathleen Sebelius Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary, Jan. 3, 2011
"The Food Safety Modernization Act is the most significant food safety law of the last hundred years. It will bring our food safety system into the 21st century, improve health, save lives, and help Americans feel confident when they sit down at the dinner table that they won't end up in the hospital." (Full statement)

margaret hamburg Dr. Margaret Hamburg, FDA Commissioner, Jan. 3, 2011
"The passage of this bill reflected a true partnership as well as implementation. In passing the Food Safety Modernization Act Congress has addressed a significant public health problem facing our nation today, foodborne illness. One out of six Americans become ill each year from a foodborne illness as  Secretary Sebelius said. And tragically more than 3000 will die. Such illnesses and death could and should be prevented. This law puts necessary and renewed emphasis on prevention and makes prevention the responsibility of every participant in the food supply chain from farm to table." (Full statement)

richard durbin

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jan. 4, 2011
"With the signing of this bill into law, the FDA finally has the tools it needs to ensure that the food on dinner tables and store shelves is safe. The new law will have a dramatic impact on the way the FDA operates - providing it with more resources for inspection, mandatory recall authority, and the technology to trace an outbreak back to its source. I am proud of the work we have done, but our vigilance must continue." (Full statement)

  Jan. 4, 2011 
"We've seen major recalls of peanut butter spiked with salmonella, spinach laced with e-coli and chili loaded with botulism," Durbin said. "These are not isolated incidents. They are the result of an outdated, under-funded and overwhelmed food safety system. My bill will improve the FDA's ability to prevent food-borne illness outbreaks and ensure that FDA responds quickly and effectively when outbreaks do occur." (Full statement)
Jan. 4, 2011
"Today, FDA is working within the constraints of outdated laws, inadequate staff, and not enough funding. The agency has been set up to react to outbreaks of contamination. My legislation will take the FDA to a new level by empowering the agency to prevent outbreaks. The bill gives FDA the resources and authority to quickly trace food borne illnesses back to their source. With those changes, we'll be able to prevent millions of food-borne illnesses and thousands of deaths each year." (Full statement)

tom harkin

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Jan. 4, 2011
"Today is the culmination of more than a year of bipartisan efforts to better protect American families against contaminated food.   We already know what happens when we do not have effective food safety protections and enough resources to enforce them - large-scale national recalls, people getting sick from contaminated foods and agricultural producers hurt by fears about the foods their industry produces.  That was the result over the last 70-plus years as our food safety system deteriorated.  Today, we are finally giving the FDA the authority it needs and more importantly, the protections Americans deserve - knowing their food is safer." (Full statement)

john dingell

Representative John Dingell (MI-15), Jan. 4, 2011
"This law is long overdue. Each year, 48 million Americans are sickened from consuming contaminated food and 3,000 of these people die.  We must prevent millions of Americans from suffering needlessly from food borne illness each year, and I am happy that this reform is finally law.  Now we must take the next step to ensure that the new authorities are fully funded to ensure the FDA can do its work to protect the American people."  (Full statement)

rosa delauro

Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Jan. 4, 2011
"This new law is a significant step forward in modernizing our country's antiquated food safety systems. It incorporates key provisions from legislation I introduced two years ago, including increased inspections of high-risk facilities, access to company records during recalls, improved traceability, and most critically, mandatory recall authority. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act provides the tools the FDA needs to improve their ability to both prevent and respond to food-borne illness outbreaks." (Full statement)

  Dec. 21, 2011
I am delighted that the House has passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act for the final time. The bill represents a critical step forward in addressing the problems in our current food safety system and ultimately reducing the number of food-borne illnesses in our country. It strengthens FDA's authority by increasing inspections of high-risk facilities, expanding FDA's authority to access recall records, and improving food-borne illness surveillance. All of these tools will help improve FDA's ability to respond to food-borne illness outbreaks and to hold industrial food production facilities to higher standards." (Full statement)

john tester

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), Jan. 4, 2011
"Montana families and folks across the country deserve to know that the food on their dinner table is safe. This common sense new law will give folks that peace of mind by putting more accountability where the risk is.  Small businesses aren't responsible for nationwide food-borne illness outbreaks, and they shouldn't be blown out of business by the same regulations needed for the giant food factories. I'm proud we were able to work together to protect the jobs of, and strengthen business for countless family farmers and food processors across the country." (Full statement)

kirsten gillibrand

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jan. 4, 2011
"Today, we've taken an important first step to bringing our food safety laws into the 21st century. Among many other important improvements, this legislation will provide better notification for grocery store shoppers when a product is recalled, and I commend President Obama for signing this bill into law. But we have more work to do. We can't afford to wait for another deadly E. coli outbreak before we take action to protect our meat supply. There are a number of commonsense steps we can take that would prevent disease and save lives across the country." (Full statement)

diana degette

Representative Diana DeGette (CO-01)
"Even as the President lends his signature to this landmark legislation, unsafe food is being ripped off the shelf - Sprouts in Washington and Chicken Pot Pies in California are just two examples. Fortunately, enactment of this new law is  a major step towards protecting our families from foodborne illness, and no longer will we have to rely on voluntary recalls, because under this law the FDA for the first time has the lone authority to put safety first and pull tainted food from our stores if necessary.  Ensuring the security of our nation's food supply has been a goal of mine for much of my time in Congress, and I will continue to make sure there are adequate resources available to enforce this new law." (Full statement)


Grocery Manufacturers Association, Jan. 5, 2011
"On behalf of GMA, its member companies and the entire food and beverage industry I would like to thank President Obama for his leadership and dedication to strengthening and modernizing America's food safety system. Today's bill signing marks a historic moment for our country - as it represents the most comprehensive reform of our nation's food safety laws in more than 70 years.  This landmark legislation provides FDA with the resources and authorities the agencyneeds to help strengthen our nation's food safety system by making prevention the focus of our food safety strategies, and will help restore the public's faith in the safety and security of the food supply." (Full statement)


United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Jan. 5, 2011
"As the men and women who put food on our nation's tables, UFCW members across the country make food safety their top priority every day. The updated regulations will without a doubt help them keep our food even safer. However, while today marks a great step forward, there are important food safety issues not covered by this law that Congress must address, including the impact of line speed and worker protection on the safety of our food supply. By guaranteeing worker rights and safety, and by strengthening whistleblower protections, Congress can make our country's food even safer." (Full statement)


Food Marketing Institute, Jan. 4, 2011
"America's grocery stores and its customers praise the President and the Congress for working together with industry to improve the safety of our food supply. Today's supermarkets offer a wide variety of foods from across the globe. This law will enhance the safety of our food supply by requiring every food producing company to have a written food safety plan, by providing the Food and Drug Administration the authority to recall products, by recognizing third-party certification plans, and by adopting a risk-based approach to food safety inspections. Working together, we all will play an important role to prevent foodborne illnesses and strengthen the safety of our food supply." (Full statement)

 pma Produce Marketing Association
"I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who worked countless hours to advance food safety efforts, as well as those members who contacted their congresspersons and senators on this bill. As complex as this has been in the last couple of weeks, one thing is clear. Now more than ever, it is vital that our industry is seen and heard on the subject of food safety." (Full statement)

 masspirg MASS PIRG, Jan. 5, 2011
"The President's signature on the Food Safety Modernization Act brings food safety protections for American consumers into the 21st century... The FDA will now have to develop strong regulations to put the law to work for American consumers, and Congress must provide sufficient resources to allow the FDA to fulfill its food safety mandate." (Full statement)