Legislation to Boost USDA Meat Recall Authority Introduced

Legislation to Boost USDA Meat Recall Authority Introduced

Senator wants USDA to have power to mandate meat recalls.

As the House focused on food safety reform last week, Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M., made a related, more specific move. Udall re-introduced legislation he originally proposed in 2003 to grant USDA the authority to initiate mandatory meat product recalls. USDA currently doesn't have the authority to issue a mandatory recall of meat believed to be dangerous. Food processors decide whether they'll comply with USDA requests to recall unsafe products forcing time-consuming negotiations before meat is pulled from store shelves. Udall says it puts all consumers at risk when USDA can't get tainted meat off the market quickly.


Udall notes millions get sick and thousands are hospitalized each year from food-borne illnesses. And when consumers don't trust that their beef is safe he says it hurts ranchers who had nothing to do with tainted beef. He says enforcement of health standards is good for consumers and crucial for ranchers.

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