Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is becoming the newest food safety champion in the Senate. Gillibrand, the first New Yorker to serve on the Agriculture Committee in almost four decades, introduced a comprehensive food policy platform in the fall, which includes plans to improve inspection, recall response, and public education.

In addition to co-sponsoring the pending FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, Gillibrand introduced a bill last week that would improve recall notification to consumers and local public health officials, and it looks like Senate leadership will adopt some of her key proposals.

Now she is appealing to moms to get behind her plans. In a blog post this week on Moms Rising, a popular activist site for moms from all walks of life, Gillibrand called the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) statistics on foodborne illness an “unacceptable” reality.

“The fact is, our food safety laws have not truly been overhauled in more than century,” wrote Gillibrand.

“We need to do a better job of catching contaminated food before it ever comes close to a kitchen table, a school cafeteria or a restaurant,” continued the post. “It’s imperative that parents throughout the country have confidence that the food they serve their kids at home and the food they’re getting at school are safe.”

For Gillibrand, food safety is a public health issue that hits close to home. The Senator consistently refers to an estimate that put New York’s annual foodborne illness count at 5 million, and she put together a report that breaks down foodborne illnesses by county.

In her post she encouraged moms to email or call their Senators to get behind the pending food safety bill, which she predicts the upper chamber will take up next month.


To read Sen. Gillibrand’s post on Mom’s Rising, see:

Pictured:  Sen. Gillibrand meets with constituents at the Long Island “Senate At Your Supermarket” event.