The Impact of the Food Safety Modernization Act

By: Allie Gallant 

Bill S. 510, the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, addresses the way in which food safety is regulated allowing the FDA sweeping new powers in relation to monitoring the private sector in regards to food safety issues. The FDA contends that preventative food safety measures are the best way to secure the safety of the food supply.

The bill passed the Senate in a bipartisan 73-25 vote but the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) was barely approved by the House of Representatives with a 212-206 vote and has been sent back to the Senate for another reading. The food safety bill passed the Senate before, but was held up by the house because the Senate had included provisions for collecting fees and according to the Constitution, all provisions in regards to revenue must originate from the House. Despite the difference between the Senate’s and House version of the bill, they must be reconciled before the President can sign it into official law.

Bill S. 510 extends the regulatory powers of the FDA, giving the agency full access to safety records and testing results including the power to order recalls, rather than having to rely on voluntary compliance by companies who may be unwilling to share information, opting instead to remove products through a recall.

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