Press Room

Nov 30 2010

Dr. Coburn Says Food Safety Bill Won’t Make Food Safer

Senate rejects Coburn substitute amendment

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today after the Senate passed a flawed food safety bill and rejected his alternative plan.

“The bill the Senate passed today will grow the government, increase food prices, and drive small producers out of business without making our food any safer. America has the safest food supply in the world – and it has been getting safer – because the free market and consumers have held bad actors accountable. This bill destroys that balance and replaces common sense with the heavy hand of government,” Dr. Coburn said.

The Coburn substitute would have required better coordination among agencies like the FDA and USDA and helped implement better information technology systems. The Coburn substitute also would have leveraged the free market by utilizing private inspections, which would have allowed the FDA to focus on bad actors.

“Instead of addressing the problems that do exist and have contributed to food scares, such as a lack of coordination between agencies, Congress decided to spend billions of dollars, add 250 pages of new regulations, and give government new powers that will lead to unnecessary and costly food recalls. The recent salmonella outbreak did not occur because we lacked this bill. That scare occurred because regulations that were already on the books were not implemented,” Dr. Coburn said.

“This bill is a typical Washington response to a perceived crisis. In every area of government we see diminishing returns when government spends billions without any hope of improved outcomes. Millions of Americans are fed up with ‘security theater’ at the Department of Homeland Security and are about to witness an outbreak of ‘food-safety theater’ from the FDA. In the coming months and years consumers will see that more government does not mean safer food,” Dr. Coburn said.


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4/8/14 Dr. Coburn’s Statement on New GAO Duplication Report
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3/14/14 Udall, Coburn Welcome Support for Proposal to End Unemployment Benefits for Millionaires as Part of Extension of Long-Term Jobless Benefits
3/13/14 Senators Introduce Bill to Stabilize Funding for Patent and Trademark Office
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3/12/14 Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill Requiring Bureaucracy to Disclose Programs
3/11/14 Senate Says So Long to Taxpayer Funded Conventions for Political Elite
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2/26/14 Coburn Releases New Health Care Cost Report
2/18/14 Senate Doctors Question CMS Plan to Test ICD-10 Codes
2/13/14 Senators Question Intelligence Community’s Tracking of Core Contractors
2/12/14 New GAO Report Finds DHS Ammunition Purchases Declined Since 2009
2/10/14 Dr. Coburn Asks IRS to Clarify Enforcement of Individual Mandate
2/4/14 Dr. Coburn Releases New Report on Cybersecurity
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1/27/14 Dr. Coburn Unveils Obamacare Replacement - Patient CARE Act - with Senators Burr and Hatch
1/14/14 New GAO Report Finds Transparency Discrepancies with IT Dashboard
1/8/14 GOP Senators Express Concern Over HHS IG Report Citing Insufficient Oversight of Electronic Health Record Program
1/8/14 Senators Coburn, Warren Introduce Truth in Settlements Act to Make Federal Agency Settlements More Transparent
1/7/14 Carper, Coburn Highlight New Administration Proposal to Combat Fraudulent Drug Diversion From Medicare
1/7/14 Federal Agencies Continue Improper Payments to Deceased People
1/7/14 New GAO Report Finds Weaknesses with DHS’s Effort to Upgrade Key Border Enforcement System
1/6/14 Senators Highlight New Assessment on Government’s Transition to Major Telecommunications Contract Program
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12/17/13 Coburn Releases Annual Wastebook Highlighting Most Egregious Spending of 2013
12/16/13 Donnelly, Coburn Introduce Bill to Preserve Access to Manufactured Housing
12/16/13 Coburn to Introduce Wastebook 2013 at Tuesday Press Conference