Food Safety: Legislation

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Food Law Legislation Pending in the 110th Congress

S. 654 and H.R. 1148, the Safe Food Act. Senator Richard Durbin and Representative Rosa DeLauro. Establishes the Food Safety Administration to administer and enforce food safety laws. The Food Safety Administration would: (1) promulgate regulations to ensure the security of the food supply from all forms of contamination; (2) implement federal food safety inspection, enforcement, and research efforts; (3) develop science-based standards for safe food; and (4) prioritize federal food safety efforts and deployment of resources to reduce food-borne illness. The Food Safety Administrator would be responsible for administering the national food safety program and establishing: (1) standards for processors of food and food establishments; (2) a certification system for importers of food to the United States; (3) requirements for tracing food and food producing animals from point of origin to retail sale; (4) an active surveillance system of food, food products, and epidemiological evidence; (5) a sampling system to monitor contaminants in food; (6) the rank of hazards in the food supply; (7) a national public education campaign on food safety; and (8) research programs relating to food safety. The Administration is provided with tools to enforce the prohibitions in the bill through administrative detention, condemnation, temporary holds, recall, civil and criminal penalties for violations of food safety laws, whistle blower protection, and civil actions. (CSPI Fact Sheet on Safe Food Act)

Read the Bill: S. 654 Status Cosponsors
Read the Bill: H.R. 1148 Status Cosponsors

H.R. 3624, the Consumer Food Safety Act. Representative Frank Pallone. Establishes a national program to protect human health by ensuring the safety of the food supply through (1) adopting regulations regarding harmful substances in food, registration of facilities, sanitary food processing, proper labeling, process controls, and inspections of registered facilities; (2) setting tolerances to limit the quantity of contaminants in food; (3) establishing a system to ensure the safety of imported food; (4) including food in an active surveillance system; (5) establishing guidelines for a sampling system of food products; (6) ranking food categories based on their health hazard; and (7) designing and implementing a food safety education program. Provides the FDA with mandatory recall authority and allows the FDA to impose traceability requirements on food products to assure the protection of the public health.

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H.R. 3610, the Food and Drug Import Safety Act. Representative John Dingell. Provides for a user fee to fund increased border inspections and research on testing and detection methodologies for identifying adulterants on imported food. To protect the food supply the bill (1) restricts food imports to entry at metropolitan ports with a Food and Drug Administration laboratory; (2) establishes a program to allow importers to voluntarily agree to abide by specified food and security guidelines in return for expedited movement through the inspection process; (3) provides for certification of foreign governments or importers as meeting U.S. safety standards; and (4) increases civil penalties for the manufacturer or importer of adulterated food.

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S. 1776, the Imported Food Security Act. Senator Richard Durbin. Provides for a user fee on food imported into the United States to fund border inspections and research on testing and detection methodologies for identifying adulterants on imported food. Establishes a certification system for a foreign government or foreign food establishment seeking to import food to the United States and authorizes the Secretary to withdraw the certification of any food importer that fails to meet U.S. safety standards.

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S. 1274 and H.R. 2108, the Human and Pet Food Safety Act. Senator Richard Durbin and Representative Rosa DeLauro. Requires a person that has reason to believe a food introduced into interstate commerce may be a food safety threat to notify the Secretary of the Health and Human Services of the identity and location of the food. Provides for mandatory recall of unsafe food, establishes a certification and inspection program for foreign importers and requires recall information to be posted on the Internet.

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Read the Bill: H.R. 2108 Status Cosponsors

S. 2077, the Fresh Produce Safety Act. Senator Tom Harkin. Establishes standards for good manufacturing practices for the minimal processing of produce, including standards related to sanitation and water, and requires unannounced inspections of processing facilities to determine if produce processed in the facilities is in compliance with the Act. Establishes general standards for good agricultural practices for the production of raw agricultural commodities, including requirements related to manure, animals, water, and environmental conditions. Creates a national public education program on food safety relating to produce.

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H.R. 3484, the SAFER Meat, Poultry, and Food Act. Representative Diana DeGette. Requires a person (other than a consumer) who has reason to believe a meat, poultry, or food product is adulterated or misbranded to notify authorities and provides for a mandatory recall if the distributor refuses to recall the product.

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H.R. 3485, the TRACE Act. Representative Diana DeGette. Establishes a traceability system for all stages of manufacturing, processing, packaging, and distribution of food.

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S. 1292, the Meat and Poultry Products Traceability and Safety Act. Senator Charles Schumer. Establishes a traceability system for all stages of production, processing, and distribution of meat and poultry products.

Read the Bill: S. 1292 Status Cosponsors

H.R. 2997, the Assured Food Safety Act. Representative Marcy Kaptur. Establishes a program to require all food items imported into the United States to bear a certificate of assured safety issued by the government of the country from which the item is imported. If an importer fails to submit a certificate of assured safety, the USDA or the FDA would be required to inspect the production place and determine that sufficient corrective steps have been taken to bring it into compliance with U.S. laws.

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S. 2081, the Food and Product Responsibility Act. Senator Sherrod Brown. Provides the USDA and the FDA with mandatory recall authority. Requires the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to develop a program to ensure manufacturers/distributors (of products including food) are able to cover the costs associated with both product recalls and all personal and property damages.

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H.R. 3937, the Food Import Safety Act. Representative Rosa DeLauro. Gives the FDA authority to ban imports from countries that have a pattern of food safety violations. Establishes a certification system for a foreign government or foreign food establishment seeking to import food to the United States and authorizes the Secretary to withdraw the certification of any food importer that fails to meet U.S. safety standards. Provides mandatory recall authority.

Read the Bill: H.R. 3937 Status Cosponsors