Monday renewed her call for passage of stalled legislation to give her
agency more tools to ensure food safety and prevent dangers such as the
salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 2,000 people and led to
the recall of 550 million eggs.
As the investigation into the cause of the nearly
two-week-old recall continued on Monday, political pressure began
building on regulators and the operators of the two egg-laying
operations believed responsible for the outbreak, with congressional
overseers seeking information about conditions at the egg farms and
about the rigor of federal oversight of them.
barring further investigative developments, the recalled eggs should
not expand beyond the current total.
to order recalls, instead of relying on private businesses — such as
Hillandale and Wright County Egg — to pull back products on their own.
The House passed food safety legislation in
committee approved similar legislation, with bipartisan backing, in
November. But the latter version still hasn’t made it to the floor for
a vote by the full
legislation, such as the health care overhaul, and partly because of
concern that some lawmakers would attach amendments that would derail
The bill also would require food producers to implement safety plans, give the
Hamburg noted the “unfortunate irony” that new rules specifically governing egg safety went into effect
Hamburg said she believed that had those rules been
in place sooner, “it would very likely have enabled us to identify the
problems on this farm before this kind of outbreak occurred.”
Earlier on Monday, Rep.
Also on Monday, Democratic Reps.
DeCoster, in particular, was hit with a voluminous
request that also included records of any allegations of violations of
health, safety, environmental or animal cruelty laws involving a web of
at least two dozen companies.
Federal authorities urged consumers to check www.foodsafety.gov for the latest information on the recall.
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