The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) is pleased that the Senate has passed the long-overdue comprehensive food safety reform legislation. It now urges the House of Representatives to accept the bipartisan Senate bill at the earliest opportunity.
“The Senate bill has been a long time coming,” said AFIA President and CEO Joel G. Newman. “But the process has been bipartisan, inclusive and productive, ultimately yielding a good bill.
“We urge House leadership to accept the Senate bill as the most practical approach to improving US food safety and move it to President Obama’s desk before the lame duck congressional session ends.”
Food is not feed
“AFIA worked with Capitol Hill – in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle – to ensure the commercial feed and pet food industries are recognized as separate from human food processing, and certain regulations contemplated for human food are appropriate for livestock, poultry and pet foods,” Newman said.
“We’re pleased the Senate recognized the wisdom in authorizing regulation based upon the industry and products being regulated. This will avoid unnecessary, unproductive and expensive regulation of feeds and pet food.”
S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, gives the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) sweeping new authority to oversee the safety of the nation’s food supply.
FDA is given mandatory recall authority for the first time, but that authority is tempered with administrative protections.
The bill requires companies currently registered as “food producers” under the Bioterrorism Act to register with FDA, and create written, risk-based hazard control programs.
Current feed industry Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) are recognized as “risk-based” programs.
Also enhancing recordkeeping and reporting, and creating new traceback systems in the event of a recall is required.
Two food reforms
New food safety standards are mandated for fruit and vegetable producers, and imported ingredients and food constituents are subject to enhanced inspection, recordkeeping and monitoring.
The Senate bill now moves to the House, which approved its own version of food safety reform in 2009.
While both bills are built upon a risk-based approach to regulating food safety, AFIA strongly believes the Senate bill is the better approach as it does dictate to FDA how new authorities should be implemented.