Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, plans to mandate a Presidential Commission on Food Safety in the farm bill. Harkin said, β€œThe recent spike in recalls involving meat products should serve as a warning about our meat and poultry food safety system and the oversight of domestic processing. We all want USDA and FDA β€” the two primary agencies charged with regulating food β€” to have stronger authority to do a more effective job at keeping our food safe. But we must examine where gaps and weaknesses exist, in addition to strengthening other policies that improve our food safety regulations.”

The panel announced earlier this year by the White House is focusing on imported food. Harkin wants the commission to examine the entire food-safety system.