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Food Safety News

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Dick Durbin

Amendment to Increase FSMA Funding Fails in Committee

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016 on Thursday after discussing a handful of amendments. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) proposed an amendment to increase the funding allocated for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), but it was ultimately voted down. This came after referencing the case of Blue Bell… Continue Reading

Senators Ask GAO to Examine Options for Food Safety Oversight

Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) study whether creating a single food agency would increase efficiencies, reduce costs and improve safety. In January, Durbin and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced bills to establish such a single food safety agency independent of… Continue Reading

Senators Want USDA to Finalize Poultry Pathogen Standards

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) are asking Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to finalize USDA’s Salmonella and Campylobacter performance standards as soon as possible. In January, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) proposed changes to the Salmonella and Campylobacter Verification Testing Program created brand-new standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter levels in chicken breasts, legs and wings, and for… Continue Reading

FSIS Would Have Mandatory Recall Authority Under Proposed Bill

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is proposing legislation that would require recalls of meat and poultry contaminated with pathogens. “As it stands now, if foods like ground beef and sliced turkey are found to be unsafe, the U.S. Department of Agriculture lacks the authority to issue a mandatory recall,” Gillibrand said. “As a result, it becomes… Continue Reading

Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Create Single Food Safety Agency

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) have introduced bills in Congress that would establish a single, independent federal food safety agency. Food safety oversight is currently split up among 15 agencies in the Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Commerce. The Safe Food Act of 2015 introduced Wednesday in both… Continue Reading

FSIS Drafting Campylobacter Performance Standards for Chicken Parts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is planning to release new safety standards for Campylobacter in poultry, in addition to the Salmonella performance standard already in the works. Both are expected to be finalized by the end of the current fiscal year. “The Agency is developing a performance standard for… Continue Reading

With E. Coli Close to Home, Durbin Blasts Proposed FDA Cuts

Just across the river from the epicenter of a mysterious E. coli outbreak, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) warned that cuts to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) budget would be a step backward for food safety.  FDA is currently seeking a budget to fund its stepped up role under the Food Safety Modernization Act,… Continue Reading

Durbin Wants FDA to Regulate Food with Melatonin

The marketing of melatonin-laced brownies to children was a just a local issue last week, but not anymore. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) Wednesday asked U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to see if she has the authority  “to oversee the safety of foods containing dietary supplement additives.” “Products with names such as… Continue Reading