DeLauro Slams USDA for Significant Deficiencies Revealed in Recent OIG Audit
WASHINGTON, DC (October 17, 2017) - Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) released the following statement in response to a new Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audit of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The audit found significant deficiencies within FSIS evaluations that determine whether foreign countries’ food safety systems meet American standards.
“The people of our country rely on the federal government to make sure the food they are feeding their families is safe. FSIS plays a key role in the process—tasked with protecting our public health by ensuring the meat, poultry, and egg products Americans purchase are free from pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses and outbreaks.”
“Unfortunately, the latest OIG audit of FSIS presents significant evidence that FSIS is failing to live up to its mission. OIG concluded that FSIS evaluations of foreign countries’ food safety systems are ‘vulnerable to weaknesses that increase the risk of unsafe meat, poultry, or egg products being imported into the United States.’ In addition, OIG expressed major concerns regarding follow through and timeliness in the FSIS evaluation process—a problem that has persisted for nearly a decade despite OIG recommendations on ways for FSIS to improve.”
“Agencies like FSIS cannot be allowed to cut corners when it comes to our nation’s food supply. That is why I will continue to fight to keep food that is imported from countries with a history of food safety problems off the plates of Americans. In that vein, FSIS must do their part to improve how they evaluate food safety systems in other countries to protect the American people from potentially harmful products.”