U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) are seeking a study from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) about the practicality of a single federal agency charged with oversight for food safety.
“Given concerns about the fragmented federal food safety system in the United States and potential lessons to be learned from consolidation efforts in other countries,” the senators wrote in a June 23, 2015, letter, “we request GAO’s assistance in addressing the following questions: (1) What alternative organizational structures have been identified to streamline and consolidate the U.S. food safety system? (2) What are the costs and benefits associated with each alternative and what implementation challenges exist, if any? [and] (3) What lessons learned and best practices can be gleaned from other countries’ efforts to consolidate their food safety functions and systems?”
In January 2015, the senators reintroduced with Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) legislation that would consolidate the duties currently managed by 15 different agencies to the oversight of a single food-safety authority. See Press Release of Sen. Dick Durbin, June 23, 2015.