2008-02-01 / Sports

Weiner Calls For Sushi Safety Checks

Representative Anthony Weiner has announced that he is sponsoring legislation that would triple the Food and Drug Administration's fish inspection budget.

Weiner is a member of the House Commerce Subcommittee on Health. Weiner's proposal would increase from $2.25 million to $6.75 million the amount spent by the federal government to insure the safety of seafood consumed by Americans. Funding for this program has decreased more than 40% since 2001. This decrease in funding has corresponded with a 49% decrease in the amount of imported seafood that is being inspected by the FDA.

Recent studies by the New York Times and food safety groups have shown dramatically elevated levels of mercury in seafood, which have both health and economic impacts for the city of New York.

A 2004 Government Accountability Office study found the FDA's product examination and inspection system to be too limited, and that strengthening these efforts would provide increased protection to American consumers.

"Sushi is a staple of many diets," said Weiner, "and it is safe to eat. People should not be afraid to continue eating sushi, but they should also know the government is doing everything necessary to ensure the safety of their food. My goal here is to make sure that fresh means safe."

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