Food Safety: Legislation

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Food Law Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress

H.R. 875, Food Safety Modernization Act. Representative Rosa DeLauro.  H.R. 875 separates food safety from FDA’s drug approval program, restructuring the Department of Health and Human Services by creating a Food Safety Administration (FSA).  The bill also requires food companies to register annually, and implement preventive measures on their production lines so that food they produce is safe and meets performance standards for controlling the most hazardous contaminants.  The FSA would be required to inspect high-risk slaughter plants daily and all food companies no less than annually.  FSA would also have farm-to-fork coverage.  It requires imported foods to meet the same high safety standards as domestic foods.  A program for certifying imported food would ensure foreign companies that ship food to the U.S. abide by U.S. laws.  It provides for research into new methods of improving food safety, health assessments to identify emerging problems, and educational outreach to consumers.  The bill strengthens enforcement authority by allowing the new FSA to:

  • Order recalls;
  • Require all products to be traceable;
  • Detain and destroy unsafe food when inspectors find it;
  • Seek longer criminal sentences when people are hurt or killed;
  • Assess new civil fines on food companies that break the law; and,
  • Detect unlawful conduct by protecting whistleblowers from retaliation.
Read the Bill: H.R. 875 Status Cosponsors

H.R. 759, FDA Globalization Act. Representative John Dingell.  H.R. 759 is a comprehensive FDA reform measure.  It has provisions for strengthening regulation of drugs, devices and cosmetics, as well as for reforming regulation of food.  Under the bill, food companies would have to register annually.  A registration fee is charged to pay for increased inspections of foreign and U.S. food plants, as well as more inspections of imported food at the border.  Food companies would be required to conduct a hazard analysis and implement preventive measures on their production lines to ensure the food they produce is safe and meets performance standards set by FDA for controlling hazards.  FDA would be required to implement a risk-based inspection system that ensures all food facilities (foreign and domestic) are inspected no less than once every four years.  Imported food would have to be certified as meeting U.S. safety standards by FDA accredited certifying agents.  Imported foods meeting FDA guidelines for safety would have access to an expedited entry program.  The bill provides for research, a public health assessment and educational outreach to consumers.  FDA would set standards for the safe production of fresh fruits and produce.  The bill strengthens enforcement authority by allowing FDA to:

  • Order recalls;
  • Require all products to be traceable through electronic records;
  • Detain unsafe food when inspectors find it;
  • Impose new civil fines on food companies that violate the law; and,
  • Detect unlawful conduct by protecting whistleblowers from retaliation.
Read the Bill: H.R. 759 Status Cosponsors

H.R. 1332, Safe Food Enforcement, Assessment, Standards, and Targeting (FEAST) Act.  Representative Jim Costa.  H.R. 1332 requires food companies to implement food safety plans.  Food companies would be required to register every two years.  Food companies would be required to conduct a hazard analysis and implement preventive measures on their production lines to ensure the food they produce is safe and meets performance standards set by FDA for controlling hazards.  FDA would be required to inspect high risk food processors at least annually and all other food processors at least once every four years.  Food importers of record would be required to ensure their foreign suppliers comply with U.S. food safety laws.  FDA may require high risk foods to be certified as complying with U.S. requirements for safety.  Certifications would be performed under a program for accrediting third-party certifiers to audit foreign food companies for compliance.  FDA would set standards for the safe production of fresh fruits and produce.  The bill strengthens enforcement authority by allowing FDA to:

  • Order recalls;
  • Detain unsafe food when inspectors find it; and,
  • Set traceability requirements.
Read the Bill: H.R. 1332 Status Cosponsors

S. 510, FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.  Senator Richard Durbin.  S. 510 requires food companies to implement food safety plans.  Food companies would be required to register every two years.  Food companies would be required to conduct a hazard analysis and implement preventive measures on their production lines to ensure the food they produce is safe and meets performance standards set by FDA for controlling hazards.  FDA would be required to inspect high risk food processors at least annually and all other food processors at least once every four years.  Food importers would be required to ensure their foreign suppliers comply with U.S. food safety laws.  FDA may require high risk foods to be certified as complying with U.S. requirements for safety.  Certifications would be performed under a program for accrediting third-party certifiers to audit foreign food companies for compliance.  FDA would set standards for the safe production of fresh fruits and produce.  The bill strengthens enforcement authority by allowing FDA to:

  • Order recalls;
  • Detain unsafe food when inspectors find it; and,
  • Set traceability requirements.
Read the Bill: S. 510 Status Cosponsors

110th Congress