Rohrabacher Cites FDA Failure To Inspect Imported Foods, Calls For Country-Of-Origin Labels
WASHINGTON – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher announced Friday the release of a new report from the Government Accountability Office critical of the Obama administration’s efforts to safeguard Americans from dangerous imported food, particularly from Communist China.
“This alarming failure,” said the congressman, “is all the more reason to require country-of-origin labeling.”
The GAO found that the Food and Drug Administration has not met congressionally mandated inspection targets and has not even conducted an analysis to determine how many inspections are needed “to ensure comparable safety of imported and domestic food.”
Additionally, GAO found the Chinese government to be hindering U.S. food inspection efforts by not issuing visas for inspectors and using other bureaucratic maneuvers to block safety checks.
The investigation, chronicled in the report “Food Safety: Additional Actions Needed to Help FDA's Foreign Offices Ensure Safety of Imported Food,” was conducted in response to a subcommittee hearing on the subject that Rohrabacher, a California Republican, chaired in May, 2013.
During that hearing, titled “The Threat of China’s Unsafe Consumables,” the subcommittee heard expert testimony about the growing threat of substandard, counterfeit, and dangerous food that is being imported into America from Communist China.
Upon reading the report’s findings, Rohrabacher said:
“The American people are being let down by this administration, which is required by law to protect them from being poisoned by Chinese food imports. This GAO report lays out the complex task the FDA has before it, but also shows that this administration is not meeting the food safety standards and benchmarks set forth by Congress.
“As our country imports an ever greater amount of food,” said the congressman, “much of it from Communist China, we need to have the ability to assure the American people that it is safe or at least let them know the food is coming from a part of the world where the standards may not be as high.
“I fear that Americas will continue to needlessly get sick if the FDA does not start to do its job correctly. The Food and Drug Administration has an essential role to play in making sure the food Americans eat is safe and properly labeled.
“At the very least, it is time for Congress to seriously discuss new legislation, including mandating country-of-origin labeling for food so that Americans can make informed choices about the food products they consume.”