JULY 22ND, 2008 | Harkin for Senate
Senator Harkin renewed his calls yesterday for better FDA techniques and a national trace-back system following the news that the FDA had identified the source of a salmonella strain that sickened more than 1,200 people.
Senator Harkin, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secreary Leavitt last week stating that better coordination and communication among federal agencies, industry, along with steps to better track the sources of food-borne illnesses were necessary to guard against outbreaks in the future.
“Nearly three months have lapsed since the first case of Salmonella Saintpaul was diagnosed. While the number of cases grew to over 1200 sick people and consumers began questioning the safety of our food supply, it is only now that the FDA has been able to identify the source of contamination. This is far too long for an outbreak to spread unresolved and it is unacceptable for public health, farmers and the food and produce industry,” said Senator Harkin.
“It is long past time for the government to take comprehensive steps to improve our response to food-borne illness outbreaks. It is time for a national trace-back system and better FDA techniques, which could have identified the Salmonella culprit sooner.”