Thursday, February 05, 2009

DeLauro Reintroduces Food Safety Modernization Bill

Flanked by a mother whose son was sickened by Salmonella poisoning from peanut butter and a son whose mother died of Salmonella poisoning from peanut butter, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro reintroduced a plan to restructure the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

From the press release:

“This salmonella outbreak represents the full-scale breakdown of a patchwork food safety system. And it should act as the final wake up call,” said DeLauro. “That is why, today, I am introducing the Food Safety Modernization Act to separate food safety regulation from drug and device approvals and to restore the balance that has long been missing at Health and Human Service. . . .

In addition to the structural change, The Food Safety Modernization Act also updates food laws and would change the focus to preventing disease-causing contamination. The bill would utilize a modern approach to food safety by requiring food producers to: control health hazards in their operations; meet federal standards for preventing or removing contaminants and pathogens from food; and be subject to regular inspections by federal officials based on the risk profile of the products they produce. When prevention fails, the Food Safety Administrator would have sufficient enforcement authority, including authority to order recalls, seize unsafe food before it enters the market, and impose fines on companies that refuse to abide by the law.

More in available on this story here, and here. Copy of the bill (S.3385) is available here.

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