House Energy and Commerce Committee is taking up food safety legislation in
June, and here is a list of food safety related features found in what is
being called a “discussion draft” of the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, released in late
May 27 by Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif.
Food Safety Enhancement
Act of 2009 – Discussion Draft
- Creates an up-to-date
registry of all food facilities serving American consumers. Requires
all facilities operating within the U.S. or importing food to the U.S.
to register with the FDA annually.
- Requires registered
facilities to pay an annual registration fee of $1,000 in order to
generate revenue for food safety activities at the FDA.
- Requires registered
facilities to pay for FDA’s costs associated with reinspections and
food recalls; allows FDA to charge a fee to domestic firms requesting
export certificates for exported food.
- Requires all facilities
operating within the U.S. or importing food to the U.S. to implement
safety plans that identify and protect against food hazards.
- Requires safety plans for
fresh produce: Directs FDA to issue regulations for ensuring the safe
production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables.
- High-risk facilities would be
inspected at least once every six to 18 months; low risk facilities
would be inspected at least once every 18 months to three years; and
warehouses that store food would be inspected at least once every
three to four years.
- FDA would be required to
issue regulations that require food paper or electronic traceability.
FDA would be required to conduct a feasibility study, public meetings
and a pilot project.
- Requires imported food to
meet U.S. food safety standards. certified by the government of the
product origin or a qualified third party.
- Requires FDA to establish a
program to recognize laboratory accreditation bodies and to accept
test results only from duly accredited laboratories. Gives FDA the
ability to require laboratories to send test results to FDA.
- Strengthens criminal
penalties and establishes civil monetary penalties that FDA may impose
on food facilities that fail to comply with safety requirements.
- Permits FDA to develop
voluntary security guidelines for imported foods. Importers meeting
the guidelines would receive expedited processing.
- Enhances FDA’s ability to
assure the safety of new infant formulas before they go on the market.
- Directs the Secretary to
include food in an active surveillance system to assess more
accurately the frequency and sources of human illness. The Secretary
is also directed to identify industry and regulatory approaches to
minimize hazards in the food supply.
- Strengthens FDA’s authority
to administratively detain unsafe food products. Grants FDA
“quarantine” authority under which the agency may restrict or prohibit
the movement of unsafe food products from a particular geographic
- Requires FDA to conduct a
safety review of the use of carbon monoxide in meat, poultry and
- Requires posting on FDA’s
website of documentation submitted to FDA in support of a “generally
recognized as safe” (GRAS) notification.
- Requires all processed food
labels to indicate the country in which final processing occurred.
Requires food manufacturers to identify the country of origin for all
ingredients on their Web sites. Requires country-of-origin labeling
for all produce.
House Energy and