WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2016 - Key House Republicans are demanding to know how well the Food and Drug Administration is securing proprietary information it collects from food producers under new food-safety regulations. 

In a letter to the FDA, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Fred Upton of Michigan, and its subcommittee on health, Joseph Pitts of Pennsylvania, noted that the Food Safety Modernization Act gives the agency access to many records involving companies' use of preventative controls. 

Proposed changes to the nutrition facts label on packages will give the agency access to additional information, the lawmakers wrote. The letter goes on to ask FDA to provide answers to a series of questions about how sensitive company information is protected. 

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“Recent cybersecurity breaches at FDA and a criminal insider trading case involving an FDA official accessing information from drug review files in which he was not a part of the review team and did not have a need to know highlight the importance of FDA’s ability to safeguard information security,” the letter says. 

“Since FDA now has access to and possession of the most highly sensitive and proprietary information such as recipes and formulas, the committee seeks specific information from FDA on actions and plans for protecting this kind of information.”