FDA Globalization Act Will Help Ensure Greater Safety in Nation’s Food and Drug Supply

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FDA Globalization Act Will Help Ensure Greater Safety in Nation’s Food and Drug Supply  

For Immediate Release: January 29, 2009

Contact: Jennifer Fuson
202.965.3500, ext. 8369

FDA Globalization Act Will Help Ensure Greater Safety in Nation’s Food and Drug Supply

Strong Food, Drug Safety System Not Enough, According to AAJ;

Manufacturers Need To Be Held Accountable in Civil Justice System Too

Washington, DC—Congressman John Dingell’s plan to update the Food and Drug Administration would help ensure the safety of the nation’s food, drugs, medical devices and cosmetics and help restore confidence in the safety of the nation’s products, according to the American Association for Justice.

The Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act, introduced yesterday by Congressman Dingell (D-MI), adds registration fees for processing plants to provide increased funding for food safety, increases inspections of manufacturing facilities to every four years, including unannounced inspections, increases penalties for noncompliance and increases food-testing for imported products among other safety provisions.   The legislation also gives the Food and Drug Administration increased authority to recall products believed to pose a risk to consumers. 

Yesterday, news accounts revealed the peanut processor responsible for the recent salmonella outbreak knowingly put contaminated peanut products into the chain of commerce at least 12 times in 2007 and 2008, deliberately endangering consumers. The recent salmonella outbreak is said to have killed at least eight consumers. 

“With the onslaught of reports of contaminated spinach, tomatoes, beef, pet food, and now peanut butter, it is clear increased funding and authority is needed at the FDA like Congressman Dingell’s legislation provides,” said Bill Marler, a food safety attorney and member of the American Association for Justice’s Foodborne Illness Litigation Group.  

“However, the revelation the peanut manufacturer responsible for the salmonella outbreak knowingly endangered consumers by selling product they knew was harmful shows why FDA enforcement is not enough,” added Marler.  “The increased inspections and civil justice penalties provided by this legislation go hand-in-hand with the right to hold wrongdoers accountable for the food they sell and profit from,” added Marler.  “We are glad Congressman Dingell included language to protect the right of consumers to seek justice on these issues in the court system.”

Bill Marler is available for comment. 

As the world's largest trial bar, the American Association for Justice (formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) works to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others—even when it means taking on the most powerful corporations. Visit http://www.justice.org/newsroom.

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