Senators Patrick Leahy, Amy Klobuchar, and Al Franken have introduced the Food Safety Accountability Act of 2010, (S. 3767). The bill would not amend the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Rather the bill creates a new penalty in Chapter 47 of title 18 of the United States Code. Title 18 contains crimes and criminal procedure, and chapter 47 contains the various crimes of fraud. The new criminal penalty would be for knowing introduction of misbranded or adulterated food into interstate commerce.
There already is an intentional crime penalty section in the FDCA. So it is interesting that the Senators choose the fraud chapter of criminal code rather than the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Perhaps they did this to move the bill through a more favorable committee. Senator Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. Maybe this will prod the Senate to vote on the Food Safety Modernization Act, S. 510, which has languished in the Senate for 13 months.