Brindisi: continued shutdown of USDA and FDA risks food safety across state & locally; the food we buy here at home depends on fully operating food inspections; Congressman makes push to get food inspectors back on job at full capacity.
The USDA & FDA Scaled Back Routine Food Safety Inspections More Than 20 Days Ago As Part Of Fed Govt Shutdown; Fruits, Veggies, Fish & Other Foods Have Lost Layer Of Vital Security
Brindisi Voted Last Week—And House Passed Bill—To Re-Open USDA & FDA; Congressman Wants Senate To Bring To Floor & Makes Case Locally
Brindisi: Bad Food On Stores Shelves Is A Recipe For Disaster We Should Put A Fork In Right Now
Amidst the longest ever government shutdown, Congressman Anthony Brindisi is making a major and public plea to fully re-open the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) & Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Brindisi is asking the United States Senate and its leader, Mitch McConnell, who can bring any bill to the floor, to at the very least allow a vote on the bill Brindisi just recently voted for and helped pass. That bill (H.R. 265) would re-open the USDA & FDA and immediately reinstate a fully functioning food inspection system our area and others depend upon.
“This shutdown has real consequences for everyday people,” said Congressman Brindisi. “Stopping routine food safety inspections of seafood, fruits, vegetables and many other foods at high risk of contamination because of the federal government’s shutdown is a recipe for disaster. Families shouldn’t have to worry if the food they’re eating is safe, and farmers shouldn’t have to worry that government dysfunction could threaten their livelihood.”
The bill mentioned above is the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019 (H.R. 265). The bill passed the House on a 243-183 vote last week and is virtually identical to legislation that has already passed the Republican Senate on a 92-6 vote.
The bill ensures that the Department of Agriculture and the FDA are both able to operate through September 30. It fully reinstates a functioning food inspection protocol across the country.
“Our local food—our fruits, veggies and seafood come from many different places and those many different places receive routine FDA food inspections we cannot afford to go without,” Brindisi added.
According to reports, food borne diseases send about 128,000 people to the hospital every year and kill as many as 3,000, according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Brindisi said the problem plagues us here at home, which is why we have county health inspectors, but those folks rely on a strong network of FDA inspectors at the top of the security chain and that is the USDA and FDA, he explained.
According to its website, the FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.
Brindisi said he will continue to make the case for opening up Departments like USDA and agencies like the FDA that have nothing to do with the current shutdown impasse as the week continues.