Food Safety Enhancement Act
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Food Safety and Modernization Act. (Discuss) Proposed since February 2011.|
|The factual accuracy of parts of this article (those related to table) may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (February 2011)|
The Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 (H.R. 2749) is a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives of the 111th United States Congress by Congressman John Dingell which would grant the Food and Drug Administration sweeping new authorities to regulate and oversee the growing and production of food. The bill was prompted by a number of food contamination cases during the 2000s (decade) involving foods such as beef, spinach, and cookie dough, and follows the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in vastly expanding FDA regulatory authority over food and drug products. President Barack Obama supports the bill. The House passed the bill by a vote of 283 to 142 on July 30, 2009, and has yet to be considered in the United States Senate. It is considered the first major piece of federal legislation addressing food safety since 1938. The Food Safety Enhancement Act includes the following notable provisions:
- Requires food facilities (manufacturers, producers, packagers, handlers) to register with the FDA and pay an annual fee of $500 per facility. It puts a per company cap on fees at $175,000.
- This will only affect retail members that own and operate commissaries or other production type facilities such as dairies. These member companies are already likely registered with the FDA. Under this bill, they will have to register annually, follow the new requirements and pay the new fee.
- Requires food safety plans for food facilities.
- Implements a risk-based inspection schedule for food facilities.
- Grants FDA the authority to expand traceability systems for food facilities after comprehensive study and cost analysis.
- Reportable Food Registry: this requires facilities, restaurants and retail establishments to report “food incidents” in which there is a reasonable probability they will cause serious health consequences or death.
- Outlines criminal and civil penalties.
Although this bill is meant to address food safety, there are, according to food safety advocate Bill Marler, some issues with its effectiveness. Many facilities, such as farms, restaurants, and nonprofit food establishments in which food is prepared for or served directly to the consumer are exempt from the requirements of the bill. Also exempt are facilities that produce food solely for non-human animals.