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    GMA President/CEO Outlines Plan to Strengthen Food Safety Systems

    In testimony before the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, C. Manly Molpus, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers of America, outlined a four-point plan to strengthen the current food safety regulatory structure rather than embarking upon a "radical restructuring" of the agencies charged with overseeing the U.S. food supply.

    WASHINGTON - In testimony before the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, C. Manly Molpus, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers of America, outlined a four-point plan to strengthen the current food safety regulatory structure rather than embarking upon a "radical restructuring" of the agencies charged with overseeing the U.S. food supply.

    "GMA is not convinced that scrapping a system that has worked so well for so many years is the best approach, especially when strategies exist to enhance the current system," said Molpus in testimony delivered on Wednesday to the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, Restructuring and the District of Columbia chaired by Senator Richard Durbin, D-Ill. "Providing adequate funding, renewing emphasis on science, improving coordination between agencies and continued innovation to enhance and strengthen our current food safety system is the best course."

    "Before we embark on radical restructuring of the food safety regulatory system, we should be absolutely convinced that there is no better or more efficient way to address the problems. In our view the system is not broken but it does need nourishment," said Molpus.

    Molpus recommended steps that government and industry should undertake to enhance regulation of the food supply including:
    - Increased staffing and resources for food safety agencies, especially FDA;
    - Committing to a renewed emphasis on scientific research;
    - Better coordination of resources and efforts of the agencies that oversee food safety; and
    - Improved import inspection with emphasis on countries that pose greatest perceived risks.

    "The United States has the safest, most abundant and varied food supply in the world," said Molpus. "We have achieved this enviable position not by luck or accident, but through the commitment of the food and agricultural industries and generations of dedicated public servants at the federal and state and local levels who work for our food safety regulatory agencies."

    A full copy of C. Manly Molpus' testimony will be available on GMA's website at www.gmabrands.com.

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