Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of the United Fresh Produce Association, will testify today before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health as part of a hearing to address reforms in our nation’s food safety laws.

The hearing, entitled “How Do We Fix Our Ailing Food Safety System?” is also slated to include representatives from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Alliance for a Stronger FDA, National Center for Food Safety and Technology and Chiquita Brands.

“This is an important opportunity for the produce industry to be heard on what is a critical priority,” Stenzel says. “The decisions made on Capitol Hill today and in the near future will shape the way the entire fresh produce supply chain does business. It is imperative that our industry has a strong voice in these deliberations.” Since 2006, United Fresh has testified at eight Congressional hearings regarding federal food safety oversight and legislative reforms to our nation’s food safety laws.

In his testimony before the Subcommittee, Stenzel will underscore the produce industry’s long-time commitment in addressing and improving food safety practices, as well as the overwhelming health benefits of consuming fresh fruits and vegetables. Stenzel will also highlight specific food safety policy recommendations that have broad support across the industry. Finally, while much of the focus on this hearing will be centered on preventive controls, Stenzel will also discuss important recommendations regarding how state and federal governments should manage actual outbreaks when they occur.

“We’ll continue to work with all members of the House and Senate as they address a variety of food safety legislative proposals this year,” Stenzel says. “We commend the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee for holding this hearing which will further serious congressional consideration of ways to improve our nation’s food safety system.”

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