WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding his meeting with various consumer groups to discuss food safety late yesterday afternoon:
“America’s food supply is among the safest in the world, but that food safety depends upon a wide ranging, interdependent effort by farmers, industry, and government.
“The discovery of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) in the U.S. coupled with the recent disclosure that a cow showing unusual nervous system symptoms was not tested has correctly brought increased public focus to food safety issues and the need to improve our surveillance system. It is important for Congress to have a vigorous debate about the best way to proceed in order to protect our food supply and to provide consumers with confidence in the system.
“While mad cow disease is at the forefront of food safety issues, it is not the only topic that demands Congressional attention. Food borne illness and the regulatory structure governing food safety all warrant action.
“I look forward to working with the consumer groups with which I met to discuss these topics.”