June 13, 2009
Congress Considering Food Safety Bill
June 13, 2009
In the last few years, the US has suffered a number of recalls and outbreaks of foodborne illness from contaminated food products. New legislation to improve the safety of food was introduced in congress on June 8, 2009. Named the Food Safety Enhancement Act, the bill would amend the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and aims to strengthen the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority to oversee food safety. Some of the bill’s stipulations include:
Requiring more frequent inspections of food processing facilities by the FDA. (Currently some plants may only be inspected every 10 years.)
Requiring food companies to develop and manage food safety programs.
Giving the FDA the authority to order companies to recall potentially contaminated food.
The FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg has testified to congress in support of the Food Safety Enhancement Act. Read her comments online at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Testimony/ucm164186.htm.
The Food Safety Enhancement Act can be viewed in its entirety at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111congbills&docid=f:h759ih.txt.pdf . This may not be the final version of the bill, since amendments are frequently added by legislators.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is following the course of this bill through congress closely and can assist consumers in contacting their congressperson. Visit the CSPI website at: http://www.cspinet.org, click on the June 3, 2009 article, and find the Safe Food Coalition icon.
Posted by handh at June 13, 2009 4:02 PM