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Congress hold food safety hearing

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WASHINGTON -- Coming on the heels of troubling recalls that have hammered the food industry, Congress called on top officials from the department of agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration for an explanation Tuesday. Rashes of recalls, outbreaks of e. coli and bouts of botulism are all food for thought on Capitol Hill. Tuesday's hearing was the fourth in a series about food safety. Of primary concern was the use of carbon monoxide to conceal the true color of the meat or fish to make it look fresh. The congressional investigation comes on the heels of a nationwide recall of 20 million pounds of beef and concerns about unsafe fish, deceptive labeling and product packaging. The FDA frequently finds bacteria and banned chemicals during fish inspections, yet it tests less than one percent of all seafood imports. Food safety advocated say the FDA needs to do more to protect consumers. Lawmakers grilled government officials responsible for regulating food and monitoring safety. Specifically, Tuesday's focus was on questionable scientific findings relating to the correlation between the use of carbon monoxide and spoilage. Federal legislators are considering several proposals, including the creation of a single food safety agency, a measure the FDA and the Department of Agriculture both oppose.

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