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DeLauro Urges the FDA to Disclose Where Contaminated Foods Are Sold

March 15, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (March 15, 2017) Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today wrote to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), urging the agency to reverse its policy of withholding the names and locations of stores and schools where recalled food products are sold. In her letter, DeLauro asked Stephen Ostroff, the Acting Commissioner of the FDA, why the agency fails to disclose this information, despite other food safety agencies providing this information to the general public.

“I am deeply concerned about the FDA’s policy of withholding the names and locations of stores and schools where recalled food products are sold for fear of violating trade secrets. As you are aware, the nation is in the midst of numerous foodborne outbreaks, including a Listeria outbreak in soft cheese that killed two consumers and an E. coli outbreak in SoyNut Butter that caused five kidney failures and eight hospitalizations in children,” wrote DeLauro. “The primary mission of the FDA as a regulatory agency is not to protect the trade secrets of food corporations, but rather to protect families from the dangers of contaminated products. Therefore, I urge the Agency to immediately make recall information public so that consumers and parents can have the most up-to-date information regarding their health and safety.”

“At a time when families are impacted by food recalls across the nation, it is shameful that they must rely on the good faith of food corporations to provide all the necessary recall information,” continued DeLauro. “The FDA should take immediate action to reverse its stance on the release of public recall information in order to ensure that consumers, schools, and retailers have the most accurate information. This simple action could save lives.”

DeLauro’s letter comes just a week after a Connecticut resident died after eating Listeria contaminated cheese, which is part of several nationwide food recalls currently taking place. DeLauro has long fought for increased food safety, having introduced the Safe Food Act to establish a single food safety agency, and having helped enact the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was the most sweeping reform of our nation’s food safety laws in more than 70 years. DeLauro is a senior member on the Appropriations subcommittee responsible for funding the FDA.

The full letter is available here.