Facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS Feed

See an unfamiliar ingredient

Soup Can Ingredients

Search the Be Food Smart database

Keyboard

Enter food additive or ingredient name

Select and eat smarter food

Plate

Tag: food safety

Late this evening, President Obama signed the Food Safety and Modernization Act (S.510 included in HR 2751 bill). This extremely controversial bill has been debated for almost a year. The new legislation focuses giving the FDA authority to prevent foodborne illnesses instead of just reacting to them. Opponents of the bill worry that the FDA already has too much power and has not demonstrated actions in the best interest of consumers. The bill comes with a sizeable price tag: $1.4 billion over 5 years. The cost alone was enough to cause an uproar, especially amongst conservatives.  Supporters of the bill point to the many recent foodborne illness attacks in recent years and the fact that the FDA’s food safety system has not seen major changes in over 70 years. Here is an overview of what we can expect:

Standards
The FDA will be required to develop new scientific standards for fruit and vegetable producers to use in their growing/harvesting and production. Meat and poultry are not covered under this legislation since it is regulated by the USDA.

Recalls
The bill gives the FDA authority to issue a mandatory recall. Currently, they can only recommend a recall and must
Continue reading…

This video from PBS features an interview with Erik Olson of the Pew Charitable Trust. Mr. Olson worked with Congress to shape the Food Safety legislation and answers many frequently asked questions about the bill. This is a great video to understand the basics of how the bill will change things and when changes will be implemented.

Source:
PBS.org

Yesterday, the House agreed to the Senate amendments on the Food Safety Bill HR 2751 by a vote of 215 Yeas and 144 Nays. The FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act (formerly S.510 and HR 3082) has taken a dramatic number of twists and turns through our judicial system over the last 4 months.

There have been many questions surrounding small farms. Was a version of the Tester Amendment included? Are small farms a part of the bill or are they exempt? The final amendment defines a food establishments as:

“…  the term ‘‘retail food establishment…  (A) the sale of such food products or food directly to consumers by such establishment at a roadside stand or farmers’ market where such stand or market is located other than where the food was manufactured or processed; (B) the sale and distribution of such food through a community supported agriculture program…”

After reading the exception section (page 18), it does appear that “very small businesses,”  small farms, and small facilities with average sales of less than $500,000 (adjusted for inflation) are exempt from some of the requirements.

Click to see the actual full text amendment. At this point we wait to see if the president will sign the bill (all signs are indicating that he will). Want to know how your representative voted? See the full list of votes here.

Sources:

Library of Congress

GovTrack.us

In the ongoing saga of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510), we learned this morning that the act is now included in yet different bill.  Twelve days ago we reported that S.510 was added to the Military Construction & Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 (HR 3082).  The new bill? HR 2751, formerly known as the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act. According to the Senate website, HR 2751 is currently active and may receive floor action this week:

“Food safety, overhaul safety inspection process and authorize HHS Secretary to issue recalls
(Senate inserted amended text of S.510 into H.R.2751 on Dec. 19, then passed the House-numbered measure.)”

HR 2751 passed in the Senate with a unanimous, unrecorded vote last night and now moves back to the House for a final vote before it goes before the president.

Sources:

Senate.gov

UPDATE: 12/9/10 – The House passed its amendment to the Senate amendment. HR 3082 is back in the Senate for a vote.

Natural News is reporting that The Food Safety and Modernization Act has been “hidden” in an amendment to another bill,  HR 3082.  Upon researching HR 3082, it is deemed the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010.  Not a bill that has much to do with food safety if you ask me!

In looking at the text of the amendment, Food Safety has been included (on page 185 – Division D – Food Safety).  Exactly what version of S.510 and if the Tester Amendment was included is not clear. The House will likely vote on HR 3082 and its amendment today or tomorrow.  The saga of this bill continues.

Click here to read the Amendment to HR 3082.

Sources:

Natural News

The US House of Representatives, Committee on Rules

Govtrack.us

It is being reported that the Food Safety Bill (S.510) may be in trouble due to an error made by the Senate. The senate added taxes to the bill (Section 107 of the bill included fees that are classified as taxes)  and this act violates the constitution which says tax provisions must originate in the House.

The Senate passed the bill yesterday, but the House will probably block the bill a procedure called “blue slipping.” Because the House is not likely to make an exception to the blue slip rule, a few things could happen at this point.

According to Roll Call, who first reported the story,

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could simply drop the issue and let the next session of Congress start from scratch… Or he could try to force the issue in the Senate after the House passes a new version of the bill. But in order to do that and still tackle the other issues, he would need a unanimous consent agreement to limit debate.”

If the bill is left for the new session of Congress, we will likely see something very different from the currently proposed food bill. Getting unanimous consent from the Senate will be extremely difficult as Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has already stated that he will not support the bill.  With less than a month left of the Senate’s lame-duck session, it appears that Food Safety Bill may be dead.

Source:

Roll Call

Many of you have asked how your senator voted on the Food Safety Bill (S.510). Below is an overview of each Senator and his or her vote (in alphabetical order).

The bill passed in the senate on November 30th with a 73 YEA, 25 NAY, and 2 NOT VOTING. The bill now goes to the House where it is up for a vote.  It is likely that the House will try to push the bill through quickly so they can complete the process before the new Congress starts in January.

Alphabetical List by Senator Name

Akaka (D-HI), Yea
Alexander (R-TN), Yea
Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
Baucus (D-MT), Yea
Bayh (D-IN), Yea
Begich (D-AK), Yea
Bennet (D-CO), Yea
Bennett (R-UT), Nay
Bingaman (D-NM), Yea
Bond (R-MO), Not Voting
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Yea
Brown (R-MA), Yea
Brownback (R-KS), Not Voting
Bunning (R-KY), Nay
Burr (R-NC), Yea
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
Coburn (R-OK), Nay
Cochran (R-MS), Nay
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Conrad (D-ND), Yea
Coons (D-DE), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Nay
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
DeMint (R-SC), Nay
Dodd (D-CT), Yea
Dorgan (D-ND), Yea
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Ensign (R-NV), Nay
Enzi (R-WY), Yea
Feingold (D-WI), Yea
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Franken (D-MN), Yea
Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Grassley (R-IA), Yea
Gregg (R-NH), Yea
Hagan (D-NC), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Nay
Hutchison (R-TX), Nay
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Johanns (R-NE), Yea
Johnson (D-SD), Yea
Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Kirk (R-IL), Yea
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Kyl (R-AZ), Nay
Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
LeMieux (R-FL), Yea
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Manchin (D-WV), Yea
McCain (R-AZ), Nay
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Nay
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Merkley (D-OR), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Risch (R-ID), Nay
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shaheen (D-NH), Yea
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Specter (D-PA), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Yea
Thune (R-SD), Nay
Udall (D-CO), Yea
Udall (D-NM), Yea
Vitter (R-LA), Yea
Voinovich (R-OH), Yea
Warner (D-VA), Yea
Webb (D-VA), Yea
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wicker (R-MS), Nay
Wyden (D-OR), Yea

Source:

Senate.gov