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Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro

Representing the 3rd District of Connecticut

DeLauro Statement on FDA-Industry Agreement on Romaine Lettuce Labeling

November 27, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (November 27, 2018) — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) released the following statement regarding the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) announcement of an FDA-industry agreement on voluntary labeling for romaine lettuce.

“The agreement that the FDA and industry reached on voluntary—rather than required—labeling where romaine lettuce is grown and when it was harvested is not meaningful action to prevent further outbreaks. This agreement misses the crux of the issue: what should our federal agencies be doing to keep Americans’ food safe? While such labeling may help to reduce the size and scope of future outbreaks, these labels will have no impact on ensuring contaminated food does not make it to grocery store shelves in the first place. As such, the announcement is nothing more than a distraction that changes the discussion away from what the FDA should be doing as a regulatory agency.”

“The safety of our nation’s food should not be left up to big corporations. It is long past time the FDA steps up and prevent future outbreaks instead of having industry regulate itself. That means addressing structural inadequacies within the produce industry by enforcing all parts of the Food Safety Modernization Act—including agricultural water testing. Through FSMA, Congress aimed to change the nature of our food safety system from reactive to proactive. Yet, despite being signed into law more than seven years ago, major deficiencies persist. That is unacceptable. The FDA needs to implement these changes immediately so families know they food they are buying is safe.”

DeLauro serves as chair of the Congressional Food Safety Caucus and is a senior Democrat on the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.