As the federal government weighs whether to make changes to the U.S. food safety system, a group of lawmakers is trying to help.
On Thursday, House Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee unveiled a bill that would require the USDA to ensure that lamb meat and poultry products labeled with the word “meat” and “poultry” are safe and healthy, including meat from animals that have been raised in humane conditions.
While that bill doesn’t go as far as the USDA, it does call for labeling that includes information about the meat’s history and that it’s not processed through animal feeding operations.
It’s not the first time that the House has tried to improve food safety.
In February, the House passed an omnibus spending bill that included provisions for labeling lamb meat as beef, and it’s expected to be signed by President Donald Trump by the end of the month.
However, this is the first bill from a Democratic Congress to make such a push to make sure that the food is safe and nutritious for American consumers.
A group of about 20 Democratic lawmakers and advocates released a statement after the House vote calling the bill “an important step toward ensuring that consumers can easily make informed decisions about the safety of food.”
“It’s no secret that food safety is an issue that has been of intense concern to the American public, but it has been difficult for many members of Congress to bring forward a meaningful food safety bill,” the statement said.
“The House’s Lamb and Poultry Food Safety bill will help us achieve the objective of ensuring that Americans have access to the safest, most nutritious food possible.”
The House has yet to pass a similar bill in the Senate.
The bill is the latest effort to improve consumer safety in the nation’s largest meat-producing nation, and the first step toward protecting Americans from a new breed of genetically engineered (GE) meat produced by companies that are not subject to the same strict food safety regulations as conventional meat.
“The industry is pushing the FDA to change its regulatory structure and take the lead on this issue, and Congress should stand up for Americans and our food,” said the bill’s sponsor Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.
The legislation, called the Safe Meat Act of 2017, is the result of a two-year investigation by the Food and Drug Administration and the USDA.
The agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has been working on the issue since 2009, and a number of the agency’s scientific experts and scientists were on hand to help lawmakers with their research.
The FDA has received hundreds of thousands of public comments, and many have voiced concerns about the industry’s marketing practices and its ability to produce GE meat.
Critics of the industry have argued that the FDA is ignoring the fact that meat and food safety issues are at the forefront of the food and agriculture industry and that the agency should do more to ensure food safety and health.
In recent years, GE meat has come under increased scrutiny, including by a 2015 Food and Agriculture Department report, which found that GE meat was linked to numerous health issues.
According to the report, GE meats were implicated in more than 400 illnesses in the United States and more than 50,000 illnesses worldwide.
The study said that GE meats caused more than 1,300 deaths, including those of people who were eating GE meat and those who were consuming the food they ate.
In response to that report, the USDA revised its labeling requirements for GE meat to require that meat not contain any genetically modified ingredients and to list the genetic modification and the origin of the meat on the label.
The agency also required the meat to be labeled as such in the labeling and required that the label also include information about food safety, and if the meat was processed through a plant, the information should be listed on the product’s packaging.
But the changes haven’t stopped the industry from promoting the GE meat as safe and wholesome, especially in states that have strict regulations on food production.
In 2015, for instance, the National Pork Producers Council issued a statement touting the benefits of GE meat, saying that it “is a source of protein and other nutrients for the human diet, and can be produced in a humane manner.”