Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, says the news that alfalfa sprouts are linked to a Salmonella outbreak in ten states reinforces the need to reform the nation's food safety system. Harkin says incidents of food borne diseases are increasing and occurring too frequently. He says food safety reform is an issue that has support from members on both sides of the aisle.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which Harkin chairs, reported out a comprehensive food safety bill on Nov. 18 last year, but the bill must now go to the full Senate for consideration. Harkin says the legislation will finally give FDA the tools to help prevent future food borne illness outbreaks, and in the case of an outbreak, to respond quickly and protect American consumers.