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NEW FDA ENFORCEMENT POWERS NOT NEEDED, SAYS FOOD INDUSTRY

 NEW FDA ENFORCEMENT POWERS NOT NEEDED, SAYS FOOD INDUSTRY
 WASHINGTON, May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Strong new enforcement powers that have been proposed for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are unnecessary, the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) said today.
 NFPA general counsel Edward Dunkelberger, testifying before the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, said, "We are aware of no evidence that the FDA's current inspection and enforcement powers are inadequate, or that the agency has been unable to carry out its statutory responsibilities because of shortcomings in its inspection and enforcement authority."
 S. 2135, the Food, Drug, Cosmetic, and Device Enforcement Authority Act, would create a situation of virtually unchecked executive power, Dunkelberger stated. "The legislative branch's responsibility to fashion carefully circumscribed agency authority, based on prescribed standards and appropriate procedure safeguards, would be abdicated," he noted. "Instead, the agency would be given broad discretionary power to impose substantial sanctions. The judicial branch's ability to oversee the imposition of sanctions on individuals and companies, and to curb administrative abuses, would be severely limited."
 Dunkelberger pointed out the irony that legislation to enhance FDA's enforcement authority is being proposed at a time when the new FDA commissioner has forcefully demonstrated the agency's ability to carry out its statutory obligations. "I can assure you that food companies are extremely attentive to the enforcement policies of the FDA," he added.
 "The FDA has ample authority to satisfy its enforcement responsibilities," said NFPA President John R. Cady. "What the agency does lack is adequate resources to carry out its mission. For the past two years, NFPA has testified before Congressional Appropriations committees urging members to provide significantly more funds for the agency. We cannot afford to allow the FDA to substitute increased enforcement authority for adequate personnel and resources."
 NFPA is the scientific voice of the food industry. Its members produce the nation's processed-packaged fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, juices and drinks, and specialty products.
 -0- 5/19/92
 /CONTACT: Timothy Willard of National Food Processors Association, 202-637-8060/ CO: Food and Drug Administration; National Food Processors
 Association ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


TW -- DC032 -- 2031 05/19/92 16:43 EDT
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Date:May 19, 1992
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