U.S. moves to improve food safety
Source of Article: http://www.ift.org/news_bin/news/news_home.shtml
6/19/2009-According to the Boston Globe, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the “Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009” (H.R. 2749) by a unanimous voice vote on June 17. It would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the power to force recalls of tainted foods, require food facilities to be inspected as often as once a year, and give the FDA expanded authority to impose civil penalties on scofflaw companies. The legislation would also require companies to keep better records of their activities to make it easier for federal authorities to trace the origins of outbreaks of food-borne illnesses. Food importers would have to register with the government.
The FDA’s expanded responsibilities would be financed in part by a new $500 annual fee on food producers. Those fees would be capped at $175,000 annually for companies owning multiple facilities. The bill will now head to the House floor for a vote. The Senate has not taken up companion legislation. The House bill does not apply to meat, poultry, eggs, or other products regulated by the Department of Agriculture.
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