NFU Lays Out Food Safety Concerns
WASHINGTON (June 10, 2009) - National Farmers Union is urging that farmers
and ranchers be considered as food safety legislation makes its way through
In a letter to House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman
and Ranking Member Joe Barton, NFU President Roger Johnson said, "In
order to successfully reform our broken food inspection system I urge you to
engage the agricultural production sector."
NFU policy supports a new, fully funded, regulatory body to oversee the U.S.
food system; the creation of a single food agency to regulate the food supply
as a whole, including imported foods; and mandatory recall authority for the
regulatory body in the event of a food safety outbreak.
Johnson expressed concern that the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009,
currently before the Energy and Commerce Committee, would have an adverse
impact on farmers and ranchers across the country. "A punitive approach
for traceability, penalties, inspections or other factors seeking to improve
food safety is unlikely to yield successful results," Johnson wrote.
"Farmers are the first link of the food safety chain and can be a
valuable resource as you determine what policies will yield the greatest
results," Johnson said. "NFU is committed to working with Congress
to ensure the interests of American agriculture are addressed in food safety