Issue Date: November 23, 2009
Senate Panel Okays Food Safety Bill
The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee unanimously approved a food safety bill on Nov. 18 with strong bipartisan support. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) would give FDA new authority to keep the U.S. food supply safe. The bill puts more focus on prevention of food-borne illnesses by requiring food facilities to develop risk-based preventive control plans that address identified hazards. The legislation also requires FDA to inspect food facilities more frequently, gives the agency the authority to recall harmful products, and requires importers to verify the safety of foreign suppliers and imported food. To help pay for the overhauled food safety system, S. 510 calls for increased appropriations and targeted fees. As the bill heads to the Senate floor, more debates are expected over FDA access to industry records and how the agency would ensure that confidential business information is kept secret.
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