Honorable Steve Kagen, M.D.

Wisconsin's former 8th District Representative

January 4, 2007 to December 22, 2010

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Kagen is Fighting to Protect Our Food and Farm Families

Press Release

Media Contact:
Jake Rubin 202.225.5665


April 23, 2009

Washington, DC — Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. is looking out for your health and the safety of our food.  Today, the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry held a hearing to review federal food safety systems at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“American consumers must be assured that our food is safe and nutritional; that when it is offered for sale it will help to sustain our good health – not harm it,” said Dr. Kagen.  It is up to the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration to handle this responsibility.”

The subcommittee heard from food safety inspectors and meat, pork and poultry producers about the state of food inspection in the United States.

The USDA is responsible for food safety measures for the nation’s meat supply while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for nearly every other type of food, including peanuts.  Many in the agriculture community, including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, believe that to achieve the necessary food inspection standards a single food safety agency must be created.

“At the same time, we must act in a fiscally responsible manner and insure that those who are importing food into our country accept the responsibility and cost of fully inspecting their products to our standards.  We cannot spend our hard-earned tax dollars on helping foreign importers.  If they want to sell their products here, they must follow our rules,” said the Congressman.

Kagen, who is the only Wisconsin Representative on the House Agriculture Committee, fought for food safety provisions in the Farm Bill including changes to existing law to allow schools to include locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables for lunches; The New Markets for Interstate Meat program which allows small meat producers to be able to ship their product across the state lines provided they have met state levels of inspection; and a certification process for organic food.

Tomorrow, Friday, April 24 at 9:00 AM, Congressman Kagen will hold a listening session to hear from local farmers at D&G Restaurant in Greenleaf, WI.  Kagen will be joined by Sue Beitlich, President of the Wisconsin Farmers’ Union.  This event is open to the public.


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