Food safety debate: Transcripts of the final chapter - The Packer

Food safety debate: Transcripts of the final chapter

12/22/2010 09:44:35 AM
Tom Karst

This bill is a good bill. It is supported by the Consumer Federation of America, the Consumers Union, the National Consumers League, the Trust for America's Health, the American Public Health Association. And it's supported by major industry groups, the Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Now, I would assume that some big operations don't like the fact that small ones are going to be exempt. They are only exempt from a couple of the provisions which Senator Tester and the Senate Members thought were too burdensome. And some of these small operations are limited in their income, and therefore it might be too burdensome for them.

[Time: 15:50] Republicans have suggested we should have gone to conference. If we had gone to conference, only one Senator could object and no conferees would be appointed by the Senate. So that burden we are being asked to have achieved is something we could not achieve in the short time available to us.

Let us not let this opportunity go by. We must adopt this legislation. If there are efforts to change it later on, fine. But this is an important bill that has been worked on for years. It had strong bipartisan support in the House. It had overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate. And I want to clarify the record to point out that almost all the groups, the consumer groups and the industry groups, are urging an ``aye'' vote.


Dingell, John D. Jr.U.S. Representative
[D] Michigan

Dingell, John D. Jr. U.S. Representative
[D] Michigan
05:54:39 SO THEY CAN WORK TO KEEP THE FOOD SUPPLY SAFE WORKING TOGETHER.
05:54:43 IT ALSO IS GOING TO REQUIRE MANUFACTURERS TO IMPLEMENT PREVENTIVE SYSTEMS TO STOP OUTBREAKS BEFORE THEY OCCUR.
05:54:49 AND IT IS GOING TO ALLOW OUR FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY TO POLICE AND TO PROTECT THE ENTRY INTO THIS COUNTRY OF FOODS COMING FROM ABROAD.
05:55:03 FOR MOST OF THE PERIL TO OUR AMERICAN CONSUMERS' LIVES.
05:55:08 IT IS ALSO GOING TO ALLOW OUR INVESTIGATORS AND FOOD AND DRUG PEOPLE TO SEE TO IT THAT THIS IS A WORK OF ART.
05:55:17 THAT THE AMERICAN LAW WITH REGARD TO MANUFACTURING PRACTICES IS CARRIED FORWARD IN THOSE OTHER LANDS SO THAT BAD FOOD CANNOT ORIGINATE ELSEWHERE AND THEN COME INTO THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE OF SHODDY MANUFACTURING PRACTICES.
05:55:36 IT GIVES FOOD AND DRUG POWER TO ENSURE THAT THEN FOREIGN IMPORTERS MEET U.S. STANDARDS, AND IT WILL ASSURE THAT FOREIGN COMBROWERS AND PRODUCERS WILL BE TREATED -- GROWERS AND PRODUCERS WILL BE TREATED WITH THE SAME CARE AND ATTENTION THAT AMERICAN GROWERS AND PRODUCERS ARE.
05:55:55 SO OUR GOAL IS THAT THEY CAN KNOW THAT THEY ARE FACING AN EVIL -- AN EVEN AND LEVEL PLAYING FIELD.
05:56:04 IT GIVES F.D.A. NEW ENFORCEMENT TOOLS, MANDATORY RECALL AUTHORITY, AUTHORITY TO GAIN -- TO DETAIN TAINTED PRODUCTS AND PROTECTIONS FOR EMPLOYEES WHO SERVE AS WHISTLEBLOWERS.
05:56:17 THIS LEGISLATION IS LONG OVERDUE.
05:56:20 IT WILL ADDRESS A SITUATION WHICH IS SHAMEFUL.
05:56:26 TODAY, ACCORDING TO THE LATEST STATISTICS, 48 MILLION AMERICANS ARE SICKENED BY BAD FOOD.
05:56:37 SOME 128,000 ARE HOSPITALIZED AND 3,000 ARE KILLED.
05:56:41 WE CAN GO AROUND AND LET THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR TO PERHAPS PASS A DIFFERENT BILL, WHETHER IT WILL BE BETTER OR NOT IS A QUESTION.
05:56:53 I YIELD MYSELF AN ADDITIONAL MINUTE.
05:56:56 WHETHER IT IS BETTER IS OPEN TO QUESTION.
05:57:00 BUT I TELL MY COLLEAGUES, DURING THAT TIME THERE WILL BE AMERICANS SICKENED, THERE WILL BE AMERICANS KILLED AND THERE ARE GOING TO BE AMERICANS HOSPITALIZED.
05:57:10 AMERICAN MANUFACTURERS, PROCESSORS AND GROWERS WILL HAVE THE QUALITY OF THEIR FOOD PRODUCTS IMPINGED NOT BY THEIR CARELESSNESS OR BAD BEHAVIOR BUT RATHER BY THE MISBEHAVIOR OF FOREIGN PRODUCERS, FOREIGN MANUFACTURERS AND OTHERS WHO ARE SENDING THINGS IN HERE LIKE MILK PRODUCTS WITH MELAMIN.
05:57:32 IT IS A CONSTITUENT, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, OF FOR MICAH.
05:57:38 IT KILLS BABIES.
05:57:39 AND CHINA SELLS THESE PRODUCTS TO THEIR OWN PEOPLE.
05:57:43 IF THEY DON'T KILL THEIR OWN PEOPLE WITH THAT TRASH, IMAGINE THE GREED WITH WHICH THEY WILL SELL THAT TRASH OVER HERE TO THREATEN THE WELL-BEING AND THE SAFETY AND THE TRUST OF AMERICAN CONSUMERS, BUSINESSMEN, MANUFACTURERS, PRODUCERS AND .
05:57:59 GROWERS.
05:58:03 I BEG YOU THE SAFETY OF OUR CONSTITUENTS, OF OUR PEOPLE IS AT STAKE AND I HOPE THAT YOU WILL WRK WITH ME TO PASS -- WORK WITH ME TO PASS THIS LEGISLATION SO THAT WE CAN MAKE OUR CONSUMERS NOT ONLY TRUST THE SYSTEM BUT ALSO TO KNOW THAT IT IS GOING TO WORK TO PROTECT THEM.
05:58:19 AND I HOPE THAT IF THERE IS ENTHUSIASM FOR DOING MORE WORK ON THIS -- I YIELD MYSELF AN ADDITIONAL MINUTE.
05:58:27 I HOPE THAT IF THERE IS ENTHUSIASM FOR DOING WORK ON THIS THAT MY COLLEAGUES WILL JOIN ME NEXT YEAR IN DOING THE PHARMACEUTICALS.
05:58:35 SAME THING WITH REGARD TO AND I REMIND YOU THAT THE COMMITTEE HAS WORKED NOT IN OPPOSITION TO AMERICAN INDUSTRY BUT RATHER THE COMMITTEE HAS WORKED WITH THE AMERICAN INDUSTRY WHICH SUPPORTS THE LEGISLATION.
05:58:52 WOULD IT BETTER IF WE WERE ABSOLUTELY.
05:58:55 PASSING THE HOUSE BILL?
05:58:57 IS IT WORSE OR WEAKER BECAUSE WE ARE PASSING THE SENATE BILL?
05:59:00 OF COURSE.
05:59:02 HAVING SAID THAT YOU ARE MAKING AMERICANS SAFE IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THE U.S. SENATE HAS HAD TO TINKER WITH THIS LEGISLATION TO THE WEAKENING OF THE LEGISLATION.
05:59:14 I WANT TO COMMEND MY COLLEAGUES WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED, MR.
05:59:19 WAXMAN, MR. PALLONE, MR.
05:59:21 DELAURO.
05:59:21 STUPAK, MS. DEGETTE, MS.
05:59:24 I WANT TO COMMEND THE STAFF, KATIE WHOSE LAST DAY THIS IS, VIRGIL, RACHEL, ERIC, WHO HAVE MADE THIS POSSIBLE.
05:59:35 OUR LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL HAS LABORED MIGHTILY AND WE OWE REAL THANKS TO WARREN BURKE AND MEGAN REN TRUE.
05:59:47 I -- RENFREW.
05:59:49 THE HARSH FACT OF THE MATTER IS THEY WERE VERY HELPFUL IN DOING THIS IN TIMES PAST.
05:59:53 I WANT TO PAY PARTICULAR TRIBUTE TO MR. SHIMKUS, MR.
05:59:57 DEAL, AND MR. BARTON.
05:59:59 BUT I DO WANT IT KNOWN WERE IT NOT FOR THE LABORS OF THREE GREAT MEN IN THE OTHER BODY WE WOULD NOT BE WHERE WE ARE.
06:00:07 SENATOR HARKIN, SENATOR DURBIN, AND SENATOR REID HAVE CONTRIBUTED MIGHTILY TO THE SUCCESS WHICH WE HAVE IN MAKING SAFE.
06:00:14 THE AMERICAN CONSUMING PUBLIC I HOPE THAT THE PEOPLE WILL UNDERSTAND WE HAVE SERVED THEM WELL AND I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO VOTE FOR THIS BILL SECURE IN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU ARE PROTECTING AMERICANS AND YOU ARE SAVING THEIR LIVES AND THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BY PASSING H.R.
06:00:34 2751.
06:00:35 I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.


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