WASHINGTON – Today, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry held a hearing to review recent recalls in the meat industry. Congressman Leonard Boswell of Iowa is Chairman of the Subcommittee.
The Subcommittee heard testimony from U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond about food safety concerns related to recent recalls and illnesses caused nationwide by E. coli O157:H7 and other agents.
“I believe that Dr. Raymond and I share the same concerns,” said Chairman Boswell. “Consumers must have confidence in the meat products they buy. Further, being a producer, I want to ensure that our producers stay in business and grow. I was pleased to learn that due to the Topps recall, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has instituted new innovative practices, as well as increased training and supervision to ensure that to the best of their ability, consumers are safe. I hope we will continue to have an open dialogue.”
"As a member of the Agriculture Committee, our most important job is assuring the safety of our nation's food supply,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Robin Hayes of North Carolina. “Today's hearing reiterated the numerous safeguards in place to protect our consumers. Our job is to exercise Congressional oversight to ensure that USDA and the industry remain vigilant in their efforts. If new technologies and standards are scientifically warranted, then new policies and practices should be implemented.”
The House Committee on Agriculture has jurisdiction over the inspection of livestock, poultry and meat products. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service regulates the safety, wholesomeness and proper labeling of domestic and imported meat, poultry and egg products.
The opening statement of Dr. Raymond is available on the Committee website, and a full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website at a later date.