Thursday, August 6, 2009

More info on the proposed food safety bill

Here is some more info about H.R. 2749 (which was just passed in the House) and its equivalent in the Senate, S. 510, which I originally blogged about here. Here is a passage from

THE HOUSE BILL, H.R. 2749, requires each food facility to:

(1) Conduct a hazard analysis, (2) Implement preventive controls, and (3) Implement a food safety plan.

Requires FDA to:

(1) Issue science-based performance standards to minimize the hazards from foodborne contaminants

(2) Establish science-based standards for raw agricultural commodities

(3) Inspect facilities at a frequency determined pursuant to a risk-based schedule

(4) Establish a food tracing system

(6) Establish a program for accreditation of laboratories that perform analytical testing of food for import or export

Authorizes FDA to:

(1) Order an immediate cessation of distribution, or a recall, of food

(2) Establish an importer verification program

(3) Quarantine food in any geographic area within the United States

Defines the term “color additive” to include carbon monoxide that may affect the color of fresh meat, poultry products, or seafood

Requires country of origin labeling on food, and annual registration of importers

Provides for unique identifiers for food facilities and food importers

Deems a food to be adulterated if an inspection is delayed or refused

Requires FDA to establish a corps of inspectors dedicated to inspections of foreign food facilities

Reorganizes the FDA field laboratories and district offices

Gives the FDA Commissioner subpoena authority

Establishes whistleblower protections

THE SENATE BILL, S. 510, is pretty much the same except that it addresses food bioterrorism. In addition to most of what is in the House bill, it requires HHS and USDA to prepare the National Agriculture and Food Defense Strategy.

It also requires FDA to:

(1) Identify preventive programs and practices to promote the safety and security of food

(2) Promulgate regulations on sanitary food transportation practices

(3) Develop a policy to manage the risk of food allergy and anaphylaxis in schools and early childhood education programs

Requires FDA and CDC to enhance foodborne illness surveillance systems

Requires EPA to assist state, local, and tribal governments in preparing for, assessing, decontaminating, and recovering from an agriculture or food emergency


It' hard to believe that many of these procedures don't already exist, such as:

- having a food tracing system

- standards to minimize hazards from foodborne contaminants

- an accreditation program for food laboratories

- the ability to quarantine contaminated products

- the ability for the FDA to make food recalls

Also - is anyone else disturbed that carbon monoxide is being used as a "color additive"?!?!? I just yesterday bought a carbon monoxide detector for our condo because I was under the impression that carbon monoxided could KILL. Silly me, maybe instead I should invite it into my home to season my food with it....

This information is a bit hard to swallow. If these are the interventions that are proposed for the future - what the heck are the FDA and USDA doing now and why aren't there more federal regulations?!?! What are your thoughts on this?

1 comment:

  1. After seeing Food, Inc. nothing shocks me! Our food system is run so goal is to buy the freshest produce/products..That last cartoon makes me glad I'm a vegetarian...UCK