Health News

Create food safety agency outside FDA: lawmaker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congress should split apart the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to create a separate agency in charge of ensuring the safety of fruits, vegetables and processed foods, the head of a House subcommittee said on Wednesday.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a longtime critic of FDA’s food oversight, unveiled a bill that would create the Food Safety Administration and put an emphasis on preventing contamination of food. A food safety expert would run the new agency.

FDA has jurisdiction over produce and processed food while the Agriculture Department is in charge of meat and eggs.

DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat, said the separate agency would result in more attention to food safety than is now provided by the FDA. Her proposal would require producers to meet federal standards for removing or preventing disease-causing contaminants in food, provide regular inspections and allow the new agency to order food recalls and seize unsafe products before they reach stores.

Reporting by Charles Abbott. Editing by Maureen Bavdek