U.S. Congress Passes Food Safety Reform

December 22/Washington/just-food global news -- The U.S. House of Representatives has given its final approval to major reform of the country's food-safety system.

The Food Safety Modernization Act will give Washington new powers to increase inspections of food processing facilities and force companies to recall tainted food.

The bill was passed by the U.S. Senate for the first time last month, but a procedural problem meant the bill violated a constitutional provision that called for any new taxes to originate in the House rather than in the Senate. A revised version of the bill was passed again in the Senate on December 19.

Now with the bill house approval from the House of Representatives, it will be passed to President Obama for signing before it becomes law.

"For the past several months, there has been one constant related to strengthening our food safety system: strong bi-partisan support to improve food safety in America," Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute. "The results of multiple votes on the Food Safety Modernization Act have been overwhelming in favour of improving our nation's food safety system and preventing problems before they occur. ... We look forward to President Obama signing this bill as law and welcome the enhanced measures to protect our food supply for our customers."

The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) also welcomed the final approval from the House.

"Food safety is the highest priority for frozen food producers," said president and CEO Kraig Naasz. "AFFI has long supported efforts to bolster the Food and Drug Administration's food safety capabilities and provide increased protections for consumers without burdening food producers with costly and ineffective new rules.

"We believe the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act meets these objectives, and we look forward to working with the administration and the 112th Congress to ensure the legislation is implemented in accordance with congressional intent," he added.  

From the December 23, 2010, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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