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Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:08 AM

Self-Policing of Food Firms Fails, Says Congresswoman With Plan


Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn, speaks during a news conference calling for passage of the "Fair Employment Opportunity Act" in September 2011.

Rosa DeLauro, a Democratic congresswoman from Connecticut, says she will introduce a bill as soon as January to create an agency with the sole mission of protecting food safety and she’ll press for more funding to prevent foodborne illnesses.

It’s unacceptable for Americans to rely on private inspectors who have ties to food companies and award positive ratings to producers whose farms and factories are tainted with bacteria, DeLauro says.

The food industry has taken over much of the monitoring role of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the past two decades, Bloomberg Markets magazine reported in its November issue. Inspectors, paid by food companies, have awarded safety approval to food that’s sickened and killed thousands of people.

“We have to go after this third party inspection system,” says DeLauro, a member of the House Appropriations Committee which funds the FDA. “This is a real opening. This is a moment where you can have an impact.”

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