U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) has reintroduced the Expanded Food Safety Investigation Act, which would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to investigate corporate livestock feedlots and confinement operations implicated in foodborne illness outbreaks.

The bill has been endorsed by consumer and food groups such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Reports, the Food Animal Concerns Trust, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

Congresswoman DeLauro said the bill is motivated by the negative impacts of corporate consolidation on the nation’s food supply, such as growing antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and a restricted FDA. Under current law, FDA does not have the power required to adequately investigate multinational corporations that are implicated in a foodborne illness outbreak.

The legislation would provide FDA with an important new tool by allowing investigators to test for microbes on farms, shedding light on how foodborne illness can move between animals, plants, and people. By gaining access to livestock rearing facilities, the agency could more effectively trace foodborne illness outbreaks to its source and determine the causes to identify prevention strategies.