Food Safety Modernization Act Not Moving Fast Enough for Some

Posted on May 18, 2012

A law scheduled to go into effect in January concerning the policing powers of the Food and Drug Administration has yet to be enacted, and now some parties are wondering why and pressuring the government to do something about it.

The President signed the Food Safety Modernization Act into law in January of last year, but it has yet to be put into place.  Some people think that the reason could be political, since we’re in the midst of an election year.  Estimates have pegged the new law as costing about $1.4 billion between now and 2015.  The FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods has stated, though, that the process is in the late stages and the new rules will be released shortly.

What exactly are these new rules that are taking so much time to craft?  First, the FDA hopes to deal more with preventing food adulteration before items can be released into the market rather than simply responding to safety threats that already exist.  In addition, the FDA hopes to gain more field inspectors, and these persons would be responsible for examining imports, greens, and other items that tend to be at greater risk of contamination.

The new rules would provide a basis for further regulation.  If reports are to be believed, an unnamed official with the FDA is urging regulators to release the rules quickly.  This new urgency was allegedly prompted by worries that the White House Office of Management and Budget slowed down the new rules following a review of the new law.

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