For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at 202-777-2509 or email us .

Food Safety Bill Clears Major Legislative Hurdle, Big Win for Public Health

Washington, D.C., December 20, 2010 – The American Public Health Association is extremely pleased that the Senate last night passed the bipartisan FDA Food Modernization Act (S. 510), important public health legislation that would grant the Food and Drug Administration greater regulatory authority over the nation’s food supply and begin to address the dangerous gaps in our nation’s food safety system. APHA is hopeful food safety champions in the House of Representatives will pass the bill this week and send it to the president for signature.

After facing a series of legislative setbacks, the Senate approved a long overdue food safety bill that aims to improve the capacity and coordination of federal, state and local government agencies, which are at the frontlines of preventing, detecting and responding to outbreaks

“Every year, millions of Americans suffer needlessly from contaminated food outbreaks, a widespread problem due in large part to our nation’s woefully outdated food safety system,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP, (E), executive director of APHA. “The final passage of this bill will be a major public health victory that will help limit foodborne disease and keep our families safe.”

When enacted, the bill would make significant strides to protect the health of all U.S. families by establishing a comprehensive plan to improve the safety of our nation’s food. The bill would also offer grants to enhance education, training and technical assistance to help agencies comply with the new requirements. APHA looks forward to when the president signs the legislation into law.

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.