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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, February 3, 1997
Volume 33--Number 5
Pages 95-127

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

    Democratic Business Council dinner--112
    Microenterprise Awards, presentation ceremony--119
    Radio address--95
    Virginia, military leaders at the Pentagon in Arlington--118

Communications to Congress

    International family planning, letter--125
    ``Support for a Democratic Transition in
        Letter transmitting report--112
    Terrorists who threaten the Middle East peace process, letter 
    Thailand-U.S. taxation convention, message transmitting--112

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Improving the safety of the Nation's food supply, memorandum--96

Executive Orders

    Extension of Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' 

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchange with reporters at the Pentagon, Arlington, VA--118
    News conference, January 28 (No. 134)--99


    National African American History Month--122
    To Modify Application of Duty-Free Treatment of Certain Articles 
        Under the Generalized System of Preferences, and for Other 

Statements by the President

    Death of Frank Tejeda--124
    International family planning--124

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--127
    Checklist of White House press releases--126
    Digest of other White House announcements--125
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--126


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[[Page 95]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 95-96]
Monday, February 3, 1997
Volume 33--Number 5
Pages 95-127
Week Ending Friday, January 31, 1997
The President's Radio Address

January 25, 1997

    Good morning. Today I'm pleased to announce a major new step toward 
protecting the health and safety of all Americans, especially our 
    Almost a week ago, in my Inaugural Address, I told the American 
people that we must lead our country into the 21st century with the 
American dream alive for all our children, with the American promise of 
a more perfect Union a reality for all our people, with the light of our 
freedom illuminating all the world.
    I believe we will make this vision real by doing what we've always 
done in moments of great change--holding fast to our enduring values. 
Central among these is the belief that we work tirelessly to make our 
families stronger and our children safer. Nothing is more important to 
meeting this goal than seeing to it that Americans live in a world with 
clean air, safe food, pure water. Hard-working American parents deserve 
the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the meal they set before 
their children is safe.
    That's why I was so concerned by what happened in Washington State 
and in two other Western States this fall. Apple juice contaminated with 
a deadly strain of E. coli bacteria reached supermarket shelves. More 
than a dozen children, some as young as 2, were hospitalized, and one 
child died.
    I'm sure just about every parent in America remembers what E. coli 
can do. Four years ago this month, tragedy struck hundreds of families 
in the Western United States when they took their children to fast-food 
restaurants that served them hamburgers tainted by the E. coli bacteria. 
Five hundred people became ill, some of them severely, and four children 
lost their lives.
    Our administration has made it a top priority to protect the health 
and safety of all Americans. I signed into law legislation to keep 
harmful pesticides off our fruits and vegetables and legislation that 
keeps our drinking water safe and pure. We put in place strong new 
protections to ensure that seafood is safe. And last summer we announced 
steps to modernize our meat and poultry food and safety system for the 
first time in 90 years. These new safety rules will begin to take effect 
next week. From now on, all meat and poultry plants will be required to 
test for E. coli.
    We have built a solid foundation for the health of America's 
families. But clearly we must do more. No parent should have to think 
twice about the juice that they pour their children at breakfast or a 
hamburger ordered during dinner out. That's why today I'm announcing new 
steps to use cutting-edge technology to keep our food safe and to 
protect our children from deadly bacteria. We must continue to modernize 
the food safety system put in place at the dawn of the 20th century so 
that it can meet the demands of the 21st century.
    First, we will put in place a nationwide early warning system for 
food-borne illness. Right now the Centers for Disease Control, the Food 
and Drug Administration, and the Agriculture Department sponsor five 
centers across the country whose mission is to post a lookout for food-
borne diseases like E. coli bacteria and salmonella. Working with State 
and local governments, these sentinel sites in California, Oregon, 
Minnesota, Georgia, and Connecticut, actively track outbreaks of 
illnesses caused by contaminated food. Today I'm announcing we'll 
increase the number of these sites from five to eight and link them to 
other State health agencies. This expanded early warning system will 
enable us to catch outbreaks sooner and give us the data we need to help 
us prevent outbreaks from happening in the first place.
    Second, we will see to it that the early warning system uses state-
of-the-art technology to keep our food safe. We'll increase

[[Page 96]]

the number of expert disease detectives to investigate and control food-
borne disease outbreaks. We will give these experts the technology to 
use sophisticated new DNA finger-printing methods to trace dangerous 
bacteria to their source. We will create a permanent DNA fingerprint 
library so we can immediately recognize an illness if it reappears. And 
we will use advance communication networks to speed outbreak information 
to hospitals and public health agencies all around America.

    Third, I'm directing Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, 
Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and the 
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Carol Browner, to 
work with communities, farmers, businesses, consumer protection groups, 
and all levels of Government to come up with additional measures to 
improve food safety. I want them to pay special attention to research 
and public education efforts. I want them to focus on what sort of 
partnerships the Government can form with the private sector to meet our 
goals. And I want them to report back to me with their findings within 
90 days.

    Finally, let me add that these new public health investments are 
paid for, line by line, dime by dime, in the balanced budget I will 
officially send to Congress next month. With this new early warning 
system to track food-borne illness, we are saying loud and clear that we 
will use the world's best science to make the world's most bountiful 
food supply safer than ever before for our families and for our 
children. Together we will see to it that our people and our Nation are 
prepared for the 21st century.

    Thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 7:30 p.m. on January 24 in the 
Roosevelt Room at the White House for broadcast at 1:26 p.m. on January 

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 96-97]
Monday, February 3, 1997
Volume 33--Number 5
Pages 95-127
Week Ending Friday, January 31, 1997
Memorandum on Improving the Safety of the Nation's Food Supply

January 25, 1997

Memorandum for the Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Health and 
Human Services, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Subject: Improving the Safety of the Nation's Food Supply

    Americans rightly expect to have the world's safest food supply. 
Although our food is unmatched in quantity and quality, we can do better 
in our efforts to eliminate disease caused by microorganisms and other 
contaminants. Americans still suffer thousands of food-related deaths 
and millions of food-related illnesses.
    The 21st century will present new and greater challenges in this 
area. Novel pathogens are emerging. Long-understood pathogens are 
growing resistant to treatment. Americans eat more foods prepared 
outside the home, and we consume record levels of imported food--some of 
which moves across the globe overnight. These changing circumstances 
require greatly strengthened systems of coordination, surveillance, 
prevention, research, and education.
    My Administration has already taken a number of steps to improve 
food safety. We modernized the meat, poultry, and seafood safety 
systems. I signed into law new legislation to keep harmful pesticides 
off our fruits and vegetables--and legislation that keeps our drinking 
water safe and pure. Today, I announced a new national early warning 
system for food-borne illness. The system will allow us to respond more 
quickly to disease outbreaks and to better prevent them in the future.
    But we need to do more. Government, consumers, and industry must 
work together to further reduce food-borne disease and to ensure our 
food supply is the safest in the world.
    I hereby direct that you work with consumers, producers, industry, 
States, univer

[[Page 97]]

sities, and the public to identify additional ways to improve the safety 
of our food supply through government and private sector action, 
including public-private partnerships. Your recommendations should 
identify steps to further improve surveillance, inspections, research, 
risk assessment, education, and coordination among local, State, and 
Federal health authorities. You should report back to me within 90 days 
with your recommendations.
                                            William J. Clinton

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 97-99]
Monday, February 3, 1997
Volume 33--Number 5
Pages 95-127

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