Senate Passes Food Safety Act
Thu, 02 Dec 2010 5:08:47 CST
Tuesday, the U.S. Senate passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act by a vote of 73 to 25. S. 510 must now be reconciled with the House version of the food safety reforms by the end of the lame-duck session. There is some expectation the House will pass the Senate version to speed up the process.
The legislation gives the Food and Drug Administration more authority, including the power to compel the mandatory recall of a contaminated food product and suspend a facility’s registration if a reasonable probability exists that the food it produces could cause serious health consequences or death. It also increases the number of FDA inspections at food facilities and enhances surveillance systems for food-borne illness outbreaks.
The bill also increases funding for FDA, requires importers to verify the safety of imported food and calls for a national strategy to protect the food supply from terrorism. The bill also calls for the creation of a pilot project to test methods for quickly tracking and tracing food during food-borne illness outbreaks.
Producers who sell directly to consumers and have less than 500-thousand dollars in annual sales will be exempted from some of the new regulations.
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