Peterson Wants USDA In Charge

U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson is using his position as House Agriculture chairman to keep farm regulation under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, not the Food and Drug Administration.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Peterson as saying: "We are a little skeptical of FDA. We are very concerned about them getting involved in grain farms, livestock farms."

Debate on the subject comes as the House is preparing a food-safety bill that was prompted by several recent problems, including peanut butter contamination discovered by Minnesota health officials.

The FDA has been criticized for its handling of food-borne illness problems, while farmers say the USDA has a good safety record.

During a Thursday food safety hearing, Peterson brought Jeff Almer of Perham, Minn., to speak about his mother, who died because of the peanut butter salmonella outbreak.