Before the witnesses got to testify in yesterday’s hearing of the House Subcommittee on  Oversight & Investigations,  Chairman John  D. Dingell had a few things to say, including:

Those who heard the testimony at our first food safety hearing of the parents of the children who became very sick or seriously injured from contaminated food understand how important these efforts are.

What have we learned so far from our work?

• CEOs of major food companies testify that they will do better—only to find that they have not.

• FDA employees and our own staff investigators tell us that the FDA has little or no control over the quality of the food entering the U.S. because the agency is understaffed.

• Yet, the FDA rewards Headquarter bureaucrats with bonuses, while they systematically starve their field inspection and laboratory forces.

• The new FDA food Czar, its enforcement chief, and the Commissioner himself tell us that the FDA can do more with less, a patently false claim I have heard for 30 years.

• FDA promises new technologies, yet they have delayed the deployment of irradiation, a technology that some experts say promises a truly effective “Kill Step” for the pathogens that contaminate our food.

The Michigan Democrat is Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee to which the Subcommittee reports.  His entire  statement can be found here.