Here is the latest summary of H.R. 2749, as posted
on the House Energy and Commerce Committee Web site. A vote is anticipated
by the full House today:
July 2009 SUMMARY OF
H.R. 2749, THE FOOD SAFETY ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2009
Energy and Commerce Food Safety
1. 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 FDA annually.
resources to support FDA oversight of food safety: Requires payment of an
annual registration fee of $500 per facility that would generate revenue
for food safety activities at FDA.
3. Prevents food safety
problems before they occur: Requires foreign and domestic food facilities
to have safety plans in place to identify and mitigate hazards. Safety
plans and food facility records would be subject to review by FDA
inspectors and third-party certifiers.
inspections: Sets a minimum inspection frequency for foreign and domestic
facilities. Each high risk facility would be inspected at least once every
six to 12 months; each low risk facility would be inspected at least once
every 18 months to three years; and each warehouse would be inspected at
least once every five years. Refusing, impeding or delaying an inspection
5. Requires food imports
to demonstrate safety: Directs the Secretary to require certain foreign
food to be certified as meeting all U.S. food safety requirements by third
parties accredited by FDA.
6. Creates fast-track
import process for food meeting security standards: Directs FDA to develop
voluntary safety and security guidelines for imported foods. Importers
meeting the guidelines would receive expedited processing.
7. Requires safety plans
for fresh produce and certain other raw agricultural commodities: Directs
FDA, in coordination with USDA, to issue regulations for ensuring the safe
production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables and other raw
agricultural commodities, like mushrooms.
traceability: Significantly expands FDA traceback capabilities in the event
of a foodborne illness outbreak . Directs the Secretary to issue traceback
regulations that enable the Secretary to identify the history of the food
in as short a timeframe as practicable, but no longer than two business
days. Prior to issuing such regulations, the Secretary would be required to
conduct a feasibility study, public meetings, and one or more pilot
projects before issuing traceback regulations. There are exemptions for
certain foods or facilities.
country-of-origin labeling: Requires all processed food labels to indicate
the country in which final processing occurred. Requires country-of-origin
labeling for all produce.
10. Expands laboratory
testing capacity: Requires FDA to establish a program to recognize
laboratory accreditation bodies and to accept test results only from duly
accredited laboratories. Requires laboratories to send certain test results
directly to FDA.
11. Provides strong,
flexible enforcement tools: Provides FDA new authority to issue mandatory
recalls of tainted foods. Strengthens penalties imposed on food facilities
that fail to comply with safety requirements.
12. Advances the science
of food safety: Directs the Secretary to enhance foodborne illness
surveillance systems to improve the collection, analysis, reporting, and
usefulness of data on foodborne illnesses. Requires the Secretary to
provide greater coordination between federal, state, and local agencies.
transparency of GRAS program: Requires posting on FDA’s website of
documentation submitted to FDA in support of a “generally recognized as
safe” (GRAS) notification.
14. Allows FDA to charge
a fee to cover the cost of additional inspections of facilities that
previously committed a violation of the Act related to food.
15. Infant Formula:
Requires that a manufacturer of a new infant formula submit certain safety
information regarding new ingredients. Grants FDA additional time to review
such new ingredient.
16. Enhances FDA’s
ability to administratively detain tainted food products.
17. Allows the Secretary
to prohibit or restrict movement of harmful food products: If the
Secretary, after consultation with the Governor, determines there is
credible evidence that an article of food presents an imminent threat, he
or she would be able to prohibit or restrict movement of food in a state or
portion of a state.
18. Creates an
up-to-date registry of importers: Requires all importers of foods to
register with FDA annually and pay a registration fee.
19. Requires unique
identification numbers for facilities and importers: To improve the
accuracy of data and the ability of FDA to more quickly identify involved
parties in a crisis situation, creates unique identification numbers for
all food facilities and importers.
20. Provides protection
for whistleblowers that bring attention to important safety information:
Prohibits entities regulated by FDA from discriminating against an employee
in retaliation for assisting in any investigation regarding any conduct
which the employee reasonably believes constitutes a violation of federal
21. Grants FDA new
authority to subpoena records related to possible violations.