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Senate Proceeding on Nov 17th, 2010 :: 2:45:50 to 2:55:35
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Sherrod Brown

2:45:46 to 2:46:07( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: speak out against his expensive, overreaching and -- and ideological agenda. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio is recognized. mr. brown: mr. president, i know that senator barrasso is relatively new in washington, the house or senate, and i appreciate his words. i just -- but i -- and i'm not

Sherrod Brown

2:45:50 to 2:55:35( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Sherrod Brown

Sherrod Brown

2:46:08 to 2:46:28( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: talking about him here, but i -- i have known -- there are so many opponents to this health care legislation. first of all, i think that -- i mean so many partisan opponents to this law. i hope -- the american people don't want to see us relitigate and redebate the health care legislation. they want us to focus on job growth.

Sherrod Brown

2:46:29 to 2:46:49( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: but what -- what strikes me as a bit hypocritical --, and again, i'm not singling out senator barrasso because he hasn't been here very long, but there are so many members in the house of representatives and in the senate wh enjoyed government health care for a decade or two decades or three decades, where taxpayers paid for their health care. those members, those

Sherrod Brown

2:46:50 to 2:47:11( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: conservative members, did nothing, zero, to help those people without insurance, to help those people who had preexisting condition, to help those people close the doughnut hole, citizens to get help on their drug costs. now they want to repeal the health care bill that we've finally done things. they want to keep their government insurance for themselves but they just don't seem to want to help anybody

Sherrod Brown

2:47:12 to 2:47:32( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: else out there. and i -- it just sickens me. but more importantly, mr. president, i don't think the public wants to continue debating health care. i think the public wants us to work on job growth, to focus on things like i did in ohio monday, where i gathered 300 small businesses, people who make things that want to sell to

Sherrod Brown

2:47:33 to 2:47:53( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: major aerospace manufacturers, in this case, airbus, in my state and putting people to work because that's what it's all b. mr. president, if i could just ask that this be placed at a different place in the record from my opening comments. i want to speak for a moment about food safety. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. it's temperaturing to ta the --

Sherrod Brown

2:47:54 to 2:48:15( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: it's tempting to take the food safety is a given but it's actually a goal of one that continues to elude us. each year in the u.s., 76 million people contract a foodborne illness. some get mildly sick, some get very sick and a few actually die. the centers for disease control estimates that really more than a few, that 5,000 people a year

Sherrod Brown

2:48:16 to 2:48:39( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: die from -- from food -- from food poisoning, foodborne illnesses. and it's mostly people who are not very young, it's the very old, those people whose health may not be as strong as others. but nonetheless, 5,000 people die a year. over the last few years, we

Sherrod Brown

2:48:40 to 2:49:00( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: faced malamine in infant formula, e co spinach, salmonella in peanuts. sometimes it's international problems, sometimes it's domestic problems. international means we ought to be looking at trade policy better than we have but that's a debate for another day. a few months ago we had a nation is wide recall of eggs due to salmonella contamination.

Sherrod Brown

2:49:01 to 2:49:21( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: just this week, we saw a recall of smoked turkey breast products because of possible eria contamination. the safety of americans are threatened by a regulatory structur face in modern production of food safety processing and marketing. we have in our grocery stores a wonderful thing. we have all kinds of selection of fresh fruits and vegetables

Sherrod Brown

2:49:22 to 2:49:42( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: and fish and all kinds of things that we didn't have when i was growing up in the 1960's mansfield, ohio. we didn't have that kind of selection at food stores, especially in the winter months. now we do. that's a great thing. but we don't do what we need to do to guarantee its safety. it's time to protect this -- to fix this broken system once and for all. the time has come for congress

Sherrod Brown

2:49:43 to 2:50:03( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: to pass legislation that will, in fact, improve our country's food safety system. american families should be able to put food on the table without fearing any kind of contamination. we shouldn't worry that the food in school sa cafeterias or at progressive field watching the cleveland indians, or a at at grocery stores or local restaurants, we

Sherrod Brown

2:50:04 to 2:50:25( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: shouldn't worry that this will send a child to the hospital and spread panic through the community. that's why i'm so pleased we're considering s. 510, the food safety and modernization act. this legislation will address -- and i'll talk briefly about and yield to my colleague from delaware, senator carper, about some of this things in this bill. require facilities to conduct an analysis of the most likely food

Sherrod Brown

2:50:26 to 2:50:47( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: safety hazards and design and implement risk-based controls to prevent them. it would increase the frequency of plant inspections. it would strengthen record keeping requirements and food traceability systems so you know where the food came from before it gets to the grocery store t. provides the f.d.a. with the authority to mandate food recalls, something that is roll terry now.

Sherrod Brown

2:50:48 to 2:51:08( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: most companies -- something that is voluntary now. most is companies don't -- most companies don't do it. we must ensure this includes an examination of the pallets that our food is shipped on. you know, at home, y

Sherrod Brown

2:51:09 to 2:51:29( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: the same cutting board for chicken that you use for vegetables, or at least you shouldn't because of potential food safety problems. the same thing with these -- these wooden pallets because they can collect, especially wooden pallets can collect way more bacteria than you can imagine. we require more extensive provisions for heightened security of imports, which

Sherrod Brown

2:51:30 to 2:51:50( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: account for an increased percentage, a welcome increase, to be sure, because of the selection of fresh fruits and vegetables especially, that the increasing share of u.s. food consumption. this bill is here today because of the strong work especially of senator durbin of illinois, representative dingell of michigan. i would also commend ranking member enzi on the "help"

Sherrod Brown

2:51:51 to 2:52:12( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: committee and chairman harkin and senators dodd, burr and gregg for their work. i would also commend the kroger company based in cincinnati ohio in the work that -- in cincinnati, ohio, in the work that they and other grocery store chains and other food processing companies have done collectively to make sure that

Sherrod Brown

2:52:13 to 2:52:33( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: legislation works for them, the traceability -- many of them -- many of these companies have already set up good traceability provisions by themselves, without government involvement. i think that -- and kroger is especially to be commended for doing that. the -- the best way to ensure the f.d.a. can decisively

Sherrod Brown

2:52:34 to 2:52:55( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: respond to foodborne outbreak is to author as a a comprehensive food tracing system, as i mentioned. earlier this year, i had introduced s. 425, the food safety and tracing improvement act. it would improve the ability of federal agencies to trace the origins of all contaminated food. i'm pleased that the important components and goals of the -- of my legislation are included in the managers' amendment.

Sherrod Brown

2:52:56 to 2:53:17( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: with these stronger traceability provisions, the f.d.a. will be tasked with establishing a tracing system for both unprocessed and processed food with -- such as peanut butter. the 2008-2009 peanut butter salmonella outbreak, which sickened more than 700 people and resulted in nine deaths, demonstrates exactly why the

Sherrod Brown

2:53:18 to 2:53:39( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: f.d.a. needs expanded authority. one victim of the peanut butter salmonella outbreak was nellie napier of medina, ohio, the country just south of where i live. she was an 80-year-old mother of six children, 13 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren. she got ill in january almost two years ago after eating a peanut butter product tainted with salmonella.

Sherrod Brown

2:53:40 to 2:54:01( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: when she got sick, doctors told her family there was nothing that she could do -- they could do and she decide shortly thereafter. the f.d.a. was able to identify the source of the outbreak in a short period of time but it was incrediblely difficult and time-consuming for the food and drug administration to determine where all the contaminated peanut butter products ended up. for instance, the f.d.a. knew the source company sold to 85

Sherrod Brown

2:54:02 to 2:54:23( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: other companies. they sold to another 1,500 companies, and many of those companies sold to other companies. so they weren't able -- there was no -- there were no traceback provisions to be able to help and warn others of potential contamination. last year, the inspector general released a report entitled "traceability in the food supply

Sherrod Brown

2:54:24 to 2:54:44( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: system -- in the food supply chain." this report identified significant and unacceptable difficulties in tracing food through the supply chain. the report attempted to trace 40 products through each stage of the food supply chain. they were able only to trace five of the 40. that's why we know that -- how important this legislation is. we require the f.d.a. to establish a product tracing

Sherrod Brown

2:54:45 to 2:55:06( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: system and develop additional recordkeeping requirements for foods that the f.d.a. determines to be high risk. we require the controller general to examine and provide recommendations regarding how to further improve the product tracing system. we don't know everything yet we need to do. this gives the f.d.a. and the controller general guidance and

Sherrod Brown

2:55:07 to 2:55:27( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: leadership and -- and -- and the authority to do, in addition to what we've specifically done, the authority to do it in the right way. again, i'd like to thank senators harkin and enzi and durbin and burr and gregg for the work that they've done. i'd like to thank representative diana degette from denver for her terrific work and senators

Sherrod Brown

2:55:28 to 2:55:35( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: merkley and franken who have worked with me for an improved traceability system. the goal is to make food safety a foregone conclusion. it's what americans expect. it's what we've had through many, many years.

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