Lucas Highlights Lost Opportunity for Improving Food Safety System

Jul 30, 2009

Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184

WASHINGTON – Today, Ranking Member Frank Lucas issued the following statement after the Motion to Recommit on H.R. 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, failed to pass the U.S. House of Representatives, 186-240.

“Since the Democratic leadership would not allow amendments to be offered during today’s consideration of this bill, we used the only opportunity we had to improve it. Today, Congress missed a chance to improve our food safety system for the entire country while at same time make the legislation more farmer-friendly.

“I don’t understand why a Member of Congress would vote to give hundreds of millions of dollars to bureaucrats to spend as they see fit, and reject a measure that would have guaranteed funding specifically for food safety inspections.

“My motion would have required that FDA spend a portion of registration fee monies solely for the purpose of additional food safety inspections. It also would have made money available for indemnification of our farmers and ranchers when they are adversely affected by FDA decisions.

“Our vote today is a loss for farmers, ranchers, and consumers. Instead of improving the bill to make our food supply safer, we just guaranteed that the Washington bureaucracy will get bigger,” said Ranking Member Frank Lucas.