Reps. Soto, Schweikert Applaud U.S.F.D.A Food Safety Efforts

October 17, 2019
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        

Thursday, October 17, 2019       

 

         Contact: Clarissa Rojas

Clarissa.rojas@mail.house.gov

(202) 213-3332

 

Reps. Soto, Schweikert Applaud U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Blueprint 

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Co-Chairs of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus Reps. Darren Soto (FL-D) and David Schweikert (AZ-R) sent a letter to the United States Food and Drug Administration supporting the agency’s upcoming session on a blueprint for “A New Era of Smarter Food Safety” which will focus on maintaining food safety through technologies including blockchain.

 

“Blockchain technology applications offer promising solutions to reduce food safety risks in our nation’s food supply. We applaud the efforts of the FDA’s blueprint and we’re pleased language for FDA food traceability measures were included in the FY 2020 House Appropriations report language.” wrote the Co-Chairs.

 

The Congressional Blockchain Caucus is a bi-partisan group of Members of Congress who focus on the future of blockchain technology and Congress’s role in the technology’s development.  

 

The full letter can be found here and below:

 

October 17, 2019

 

Norman Sharpless

Acting Commissioner

Food and Drug Administration

10903 New Hampshire Avenue

Silver Spring, MD 20993

 

Re: Supporting the Use of Technologies Such like Blockchain to Promote Food Safety

 

Dear Commissioner Sharpless,

 

As members of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, we write in support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s focus on maintaining food safety through technologies such as blockchain and the agency’s upcoming session on a blueprint for “A New Era of Smarter Food Safety”.

 

Blockchain technology applications offer promising solutions to reduce food safety risks in our nation’s food supply. In recent food safety outbreaks, such as the romaine lettuce e coli outbreak, an entire industry was halted because of a lack of data on the source of the contamination. With blockchain, investigators could have quickly traced the source of the contamination and acted to remove the product from the market. Using these technologies will reduce the need for large scale recalls and, more importantly, increase consumer safety. We applaud the efforts of the FDA’s blueprint and we’re pleased language for FDA food traceability measures were included in the FY2020 House Appropriations report language.[1]

 

In recent discussions with stakeholders utilizing blockchain technology, we heard several ideas and comments that we urge your full and fair consideration of:

 

  • Consider creating incentives for entities to invest in advanced technologies, like blockchain, to aid with foodborne illness outbreaks and regulatory compliance.
  • Foster public-private collaboration to find ways to transparently share data in a protected environment during foodborne illness outbreak or similar critical need.
  • Continued messaging on permissioned food safety blockchain as an enterprise application to encourage companies in the food system to invest in technologies that can operate parallel to federal compliance requirements. However, it will be important to encourage open standards and governance to allow for interoperability between platforms.

 

Again, thank you for your attention to this very important issue, and for your expediency in looking at technological solutions to make vital government functions work efficiently

                                               

Sincerely,

 

 

Darren Soto

Member of Congress                                     

 

David Schweikert

Member of Congress

 

 

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Congressman Darren Soto represents Florida’s 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes Osceola County, as well as parts of Orange and Polk counties.

Twitter/Instagram: @RepDarrenSoto | Facebook: CongressmanDarrenSoto | Website: https://soto.house.gov