THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE VICE PRESIDENT ON REGULATORY REFORM E.Coli Illnesses in Tennessee
As the U.S. Senate considers a bill that could limit the government's ability to protect American's from the sale of meat contaminated by e. coli, five East Tennesseans -- including an 11-year-old boy -- have been struck with the most severe illness caused by the bacteria.
On Wednesday, the Senate narrowly defeated an amendment that would strengthen the Administration's hand in protecting America's meat supply from bacterial contaminants. This comes on the heels of a June 27 vote in the House Appropriations Committee which would significantly delay the Administration's efforts to reform and update the meat and poultry inspection system.
Much work remains to be done on this legislation if we are serious about protecting our children and families from contaminated food, contaminated drinking water and workplace accidents. This is a bad bill and it should be opposed if it cannot be changed.
I am deeply disturbed that some Senators may want to shut off discussion of this bill. This bill is one of the most important to come before Congress this year. It involves public health, job safety and environmental issues which affect each and every American. This legislation deserves serious and complete debate.