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Press Release - Edwards Announces New Proposal To Protect America's Food Supply And Require Country Of Origin Labeling

July 10, 2007

Steps Would Protect American Consumers While Helping Farmers and Ranchers

Des Moines, Iowa – Senator John Edwards today announced a new initiative he would pursue as President to ensure the safety of food for American consumers and to help farmers and ranchers in Iowa and across the nation. Edwards will discuss the initiative on a conference call with Iowa reporters today and will be joined by Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.), who is supporting his campaign for President.

"It's time to stop the delays and stop giving in to big agribusiness and food importers," Edwards said. "We need to give Americans the information they need to choose the best, and safest, food for their families."

"Senator Edwards grew up in rural America and understands the challenges we face, and that's reflected in his proposals to strengthen agriculture," Herseth Sandlin said. "We need the kind of presidential leadership he's offering, whether it's protecting our food supply, helping our agricultural producers, or revitalizing rural America."

The Edwards plan would:

  • Require Country-of-Origin labeling so that consumers have the option of choosing safe, American-raised meat and poultry and American-grown produce.
  • Strengthen the FDA and consolidate responsibility for food inspections among the 15 agencies responsible for regulating our food supply.
  • Allow the FDA and USDA to order mandatory recalls of unsafe foods much as the Consumer Products Safety Commission can do with other products.
  • Strengthen inspections of imported food -- less than 1 percent of which is inspected today, down from 8 percent in 1992.
  • Requiring safety systems abroad. Edwards will require countries exporting food to the U.S. have safety systems certified by the FDA as equivalent to our own, a level of protection that is now given only to meat, poultry and egg products.

Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin is South Dakota's at-large Member of Congress and a member of the House Agriculture Committee. She co-chairs the House Rural Working Group, which is dedicated to raising the profile of issues important to rural America. She is a national leader and advocate for the increased production of homegrown, renewable biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel.

Click here for a fact sheet on Senator Edwards' initiative.

John Edwards, Press Release - Edwards Announces New Proposal To Protect America's Food Supply And Require Country Of Origin Labeling Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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