The U.S. House of Representatives last week approved the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, HR 2749, by a vote of 283 to 142. The bill gives broad authority and enforcement tools to the Food and Drug Administration. It also increases the food industry responsibility by calling for enhanced ingredient tracking, country-of-origin labeling and fees for routine FDA inspections, which IDFA consistently opposed.
"Although early drafts of HR 2749 had many flaws, IDFA worked closely with several food industry associations to make significant changes to the text," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president for legislative affairs and economic policy. "While we did not oppose the House bill, we will work with the Senate to address our remaining concerns with the legislation."
The bill is expected to be referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, but it may not be taken up any time soon. Committee members and their staffs are currently focused on efforts to pass a health care reform bill. Deliberations on a Senate food safety bill likely won't begin until later this fall.
For more information, contact Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 220-3553.