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Food Safety Plays Minimal Role in House Appropriations Markup

House-AgApprop2015_406x250Food safety was not a significant part of discussions Wednesday during the House Appropriations Committee markup of the agriculture funding bill.

Nutrition policies, the Food for Peace program and FDA pre-market review of e-cigarettes were some of the major topics of debate.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) praised the inclusion of language in the Manager’s Amendment to ban beef imports from Brazil and Argentina until USDA takes further steps to evaluate the risks of doing so.

“I would have loved to have seen this preventing USDA from moving forward — period,” DeLauro said, “but I applaud this effort.”

Rep. Sam Farr’s (D-CA) amendment to ban horse slaughter, which has been added to the ag appropriations bill in previous years, failed to pass the committee.

DeLauro’s amendment to prohibit the U.S. from entering into any agreement that “invalidates” U.S. catfish inspection laws was agreed to by voice vote.

The $41.5-million increase allocated to FDA’s food safety activities was noted in several opening statements, but no one noted that it’s less than half what President Obama’s budget requested.

Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan wrote to Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers the day before the markup with concerns that the legislation included “highly problematic ideological riders” and would underfund important initiatives.

“The bill does not include the requested budget authority or new proposed user fees to enhance FDA capacity during a critical implementation period for the bipartisan Food Safety Modernization Act,” Donovan wrote. “Overall, according to the Subcommittee, this bill reduces funding by about $1.1 billion, or more than 5 percent, below the President’s Budget.”

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  • Nancy Watson

    The GOP sold out the American taxpayer in yesterday’s vote. I’m ashamed to have ever been associated with them, as they have made this a political issue rather than keeping the focus on food safety. The US is knowingly contaminating the global food supply, but Rep Tom Cole (OK- R) went off into the diatribe rant about how wild horses NEED to be slaughtered because they have no natural predators since they were shipped to America from Europe. He clearly needs an education about America’s wild horses, and how they were actually here millions of years before humans, and that bobcats, wolves and bears are natural predator animals to the horse. What a horrifically pompous attitude to take toward our fellow species, and what a disastrous position to take on horse slaughter. The EU has taken a good hard look at how their food supply was polluted with US horses slaughtered in Canada and Mexico and are making policy changes to make sure it doesnt happen again, so the AQHA and other over-breeders who have used the US horse slaughter pipeline for their own personal dumping ground will have to curb their bad habits. I suppose Rep Cole doesnt remember that over 80% of his constituency opposes horse slaughter, the very same people who voted him into office.

    https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/s541

  • jrstark

    Why do cattlemen want us to eat horses? USDA said horsemeat contamination of beef (like in Europe) couldn’t happen here because we don’t slaughter horses, yet there is this constant push to bring it back.

  • Rcatheron

    It’s appalling that language was included that would ban imported beef from certain countries because of food safety, but the Farr Amendment failed allowing known-toxic horsemeat to be exported. Whether or not horsemeat is inspected is moot when the meat is tainted with chemicals that are highly toxic to the bone marrow and livers of unsuspecting human beings. Every container and syringe of routinely-used painkillers, dewormers, and other common drugs are clearly printed on the packaging “NOT TO BE USED FOR ANIMALS RAISED FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.” Furthermore, there is no known guaranteed-safe method of disposal of equine bones, entrails, and blood. None of it can ever be used as bovine remains are used. The blood and bones from cows is used as an additive in soil amendments for commercial crops and residential gardens. The blood and bones from horses, on the other hand, is toxic forever; the drugs mentioned never leave the system, even after death.

    USDA, FDA, and House Appropriations Committee, WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU THINKING? You must reverse your irresponsible decision and vote to defund USDA inspections immediately.

  • crookedstick

    Comment at bottom of article… I’m pending….
    “It is a well established fact that most U.S. Horses receive powerful Equine Drugs such as Phenylbutozone which carry an FDA black box warning “NOT FOR USE IN ANIMALS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION” that Congress would defeat the Farr Amendment, which would stop funding for USDA inspectors for horse slaughter is irrehensible! It is sanctioned poisoning of people for money. Blood money”

  • debbie

    Never ceases to amaze me!?!?!?!?! The GOP has failed miserably not hearing the American People. Not caring about global #foodsafety! Special interst’s, money has won yet again!

    Is this really how our Country operates???
    I’m so ashamed, discouraged and yes vey, very angry!
    We do NOT raise our horses to EAT!!!!!!!!!!

    The U.S. Is knowingly exporting horses to be butchered for food product scientifically proven to be a hazard to human health. This is against everything this Country stands for, I thought?????

    But NOW you are saying you want horse slaughter HERE as well????

    Do honestly have any idea what you have done by voting NO to the Farr Amendment!?!?!

    Have we not learned anything at all from our past mistakes?!?!?! Guess not since money and backing for you pathetic campaigns are much more important than #foodsafety or any moral integrity!

    I am ASHAMED of you all! Totally disgusted! Our Country with Leaders such as yourselves will and is going down a very dark path !!!!! May I suggest you make it right IF possible!?!? Have to laugh on that one right!?!?!?!?!?! NOT funny though!!!!!! Thanks for NOTHING GOP. You all are DONE!

  • crookedstick

    FDA has a duty to protect Americans and foreign markets from tainted food. NO powerful Equine drugs in our food!

  • neicey22

    Disgusting that the American people pay these fools wages!
    No concern for food safety, the exporting of American horses containing drugs not allowed in the food chain.
    I’m so sick of these losers, we need to clean house!