Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Create Single Food Safety Agency

Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Create Single Food Safety Agency


Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) have introduced bills in Congress that would establish a single, independent federal food safety agency.

Food safety oversight is currently split up among 15 agencies in the Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Commerce. The Safe Food Act of 2015 introduced Wednesday in both houses of Congress would consolidate all the authorities for food safety inspections, enforcement and labeling into the Food Safety Administration — independent of any federal department.

The aim is to improve food safety for consumers, while also cutting back on the costs of a dispersed system with overlapping responsibilities between agencies — something Durbin noted, during a Wednesday call with reporters, should get the Republican majority to look at the legislation.

The Act would provide the Food Safety Administration with mandatory recall authority for unsafe food, require risk assessments and preventive control plans to reduce adulteration, authorize enforcement actions to strengthen contaminant performance standards, improve foreign food import inspections, and require full food traceability to better identify sources of outbreaks.

“A single food safety agency would allow us to better focus our resources where the greatest risks lie,” said Chris Waldrop, director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America. “The Safe Food Act is a strong vision for the future of food safety.”

© Food Safety News

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