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Single food safety agency proposed

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) have introduced legislation calling for the establishment of a single federal food safety agency.

Elements of the various government agencies and departments that now regulate food safety would be combined, and there would be a single voice on food safety issues. The proposal drew quick denunciation from several food industry associations. The National Food Processors Assn. warned that the effort to create a new food agency threatens to divert limited government resources into a new bureaucracy and could politicize the nation's food safety system. NFPA noted that Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman has questioned whether or not a single agency would do a better job. Glickman was quoted as saying, "These issues of reorganizing the boxes of government sometimes get in the way of what makes a real difference."

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