Governor's Food Safety Council Holds First Meeting of 2010

Jan 08, 2010, 10:50 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Council Members Discuss Impact of Proposed Federal Food Safety Legislation

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding and Health Secretary Everette James co-chaired a meeting of the Governor's Food Safety Council on Tuesday, Jan. 5, and led a discussion of the potential impact of proposed federal legislation on Pennsylvania's robust agriculture and food production sectors and public health protection.

Established by Governor Rendell in 2009, the Food Safety Council advises the Governor on the development and implementation of food safety and defense protocols and practices in the state.

"Ensuring that Pennsylvanians have access to a safe food supply from the farm to the fork is a critical part of the Department of Agriculture's mission," said Redding. "By bringing together partners that represent the entire food chain, we can strengthen our ability to protect consumers and support the state's food industry."

"Pennsylvania's vision in bringing together the departments of Health and Agriculture with major stakeholders to address food safety in a systemic manner is unique among other states," noted James. "Coordinating our food safety efforts is one of the best ways to assure our 12.5 million citizens that the food produced and served in the commonwealth is as safe and healthy as possible."

The council was briefed on proposed federal legislation, including changes the legislation would drive within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the potential impact on Pennsylvania farms, agribusinesses and food firms. Discussions on the legislation and its impact at the state level will be used to create the framework for a state response to national food safety proposals and mandates.

One of the major objectives of the council is to provide the Governor with advice and insight on local, state and federal policy. This is a rare opportunity to put forward a unified voice for food safety measures, ensuring that Pennsylvania's diverse agriculture, food production and food processing sectors are represented at the highest levels of government while policy is being made. This communication and coordination at the state level is key to protecting our citizens and millions more who consume Pennsylvania products.

For more information about food safety in Pennsylvania, or to view restaurant inspection reports, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us; search "Food Safety."

Media contact: Justin Fleming, 717-787-5085

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture



RELATED LINKS

http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us