Moran Opening Statement on FDA Efforts to Ensure Safe U.S. Food Supply

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Appropriation on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies, today delivered the following statement at a hearing to review FDA efforts to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply.
As prepared for delivery:
Good afternoon. Today’s hearing will focus on the Food and Drug Administration’s efforts to improve and maintain the safety of the food supply. Thank you Commissioner Ostroff, Mr. Taylor, and Mr. Tootle for being here today. Dr. Ostroff, with this being your first appearance before the Subcommittee as FDA Commissioner, I want to officially welcome you to your new role and I look forward to our working together.
As you note in your testimony, nearly one in six Americans fall victim to foodborne illness each year. Americans expect that the food they purchase at a grocery store or restaurant will be safe, and FDA is largely tasked with maintaining that confidence. Passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2010 gave the agency new responsibilities in implementing the most sweeping changes to food safety laws in over 70 years. Today’s hearing is timely as it follows last week’s publishing of the first two final rules for preventive controls on human and animal foods. 
In delivering these new regulatory responsibilities, your private sector partners expect transparency and certainty from FDA. When I speak to small businesses and agricultural producers in Kansas, their major concern is a government that limits job creation and stifles innovation through burdensome regulations. I was pleased that the agency took many of the agricultural community concerns into account by re-proposing portions of the FSMA rules because they were unworkable for farmers.
Modernizing FDA’s regulatory controls and educating industry and consumers are at the heart of FSMA implementation. The issuance of the Preventive Control rules starts the compliance process. It is vital that FDA continue its collaboration with industry and other federal and state agencies and issue proper regulatory guidance throughout this process.
I also recognize that successful implementation does not come without a cost. This Subcommittee remains committed to investing in FSMA’s implementation within the resources at its disposal and has done so since FSMA’s enactment in 2011. As we continue this year’s appropriations process, FSMA funding will undoubtedly play a significant role in our deliberations.
I look forward to discussing FSMA and other food safety topics with our witnesses today. We have a lot to cover this afternoon, so I will turn it over to Senator Merkley for any remarks he may wish to give.