In July the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2749, and one week ago the senate passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510) by a vote of 73-25. Yet, the day after S. 510 passed in the Senate, the House of Representatives determined that, due to S. 510’s revenue provisions. Accordingly, the only way to fix this problem is through House action, and so the House is expected to introduce and act on a new bill, which then must be passed by the Senate. But the 111th Congress only has little time remaining, so it must act quickly.
Food safety affects all of us. The FDA is responsible for 80% of our food supply, yet they currently do not have the authorities or the resources they need to regularly inspect all the food production facilities under its jurisdiction. Government inspectors inspect facilities once every 8-10 years. The new legislation would increase the FDA’s inspection frequency on once every 5-7 years. Additionally, the new measure would require manufacturers and farmers to come up with strategies to prevent contamination and then continually test to make sure they are working. The bill would also give the FDA the authority needed to force companies to recall contaminated items, test widely for dangerous pathogens, and provide the resources and authority to prevent food safety problems.
These provisions really need to be passed if we plan to properly deal and keep up with both the global and domestic food demand and challenges expected to develop within the next few decades, as we have not seen any significant food safety legislation in 70 years. Each year thousands of people become ill and businesses spend billions of dollars as a result of lost sales, recalls, and legal expenses caused by tainted food. If you or a loved one became sick due to food contamination, please contact our firm for a free consultation.