Food Safety Modernization Act
The law gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to order recalls of contaminated food, amongst other powers not here disclosed, a power it did not have prior to the possible enactment of the Food Safety Act. As a major overhaul of food safety laws and regulations, the acts stated purpose is to provide a safer food supply and a more stable food industry, but, it will also vastly broaden the power of the FDA to regulate any aspect of food production.
Congress agreed that the need for food safety enhancements was pressing due to the large burden of foodborne illness in the United States. Approximately 48 million people, or 1 out of 6 people in the United States, will suffer from foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year according to CDC estimates.
The FSMA includes five main areas of food safety enhancements:
•Preventive controls: The FSMA will shift the FDA’s approach to food safety from responding to outbreaks to preventing them. This will be accomplished by holding food production facilities accountable for implementing safe and effective measures to prevent contamination.
•Inspection and Compliance: The FDA will use existing resources to modify inspection strategies appropriate for the food industry.
•Imported Food Safety: The legislation gives FDA greater oversight of imported food products into the United States from other countries. The FSMA requires that U.S. importers verify supplier activities to ensure a safe food supply, and allows the FDA to mandate certification and compliance with food safety requirements. Additionally, the FDA can decline admission of imported foods if the foreign producers refuse FDA inspection.
•Response: The FSMA gives the FDA authority to issue mandatory recalls for all food products.
•Enhanced Partnerships: The legislation acknowledges the value of strong collaboration among food safety agencies. It includes provisions to build inter-agency collaboration and capacity of food safety programs, and improve training of food safety officials.
The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 overhauls the Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for everything in the U.S. food supply except for meat, poultry and processed eggs (i.e. not including raw eggs in their shells). Those are overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture. Prior to 2010, food-safety advocates and the food industry had been working on the overhaul for more than a decade. Under the new rules, the FDA's focus shifts to stopping outbreaks before they start, by requiring farmers to address places in production where contamination might occur and to require processors to implement written food-safety plans.
Food legislation in other common law countries 
New Zealand 
The Safety Act was signed into law along with the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010. The cost for the first five years is projected to be $1.4 billion and is not yet fully funded.
A year after enactment the agency has fallen behind on expected progress. It has yet to implement "a specific timetable for issuing" a process to create rule for science-based produce standards, has not completed rules for foreign supplier verification, and must still create a guidance that will help schools and childcare programs lessen allergy risks for school-age children.
A similar set of New Zealand rules, the Food Bill 160-2, is moving towards passage since 2010. The primary effects expected are to tie New Zealand to Codex Alimentarius and the World Trade Organization permanently, although those international agreements will be constantly adjusted. Despite its 366 pages, Food Bill 160-2 cannot directly resolve many threats to food safety, as there is no added Produce traceability nor methods to control Antibiotic resistance. Controversy has been intense in NZ regarding introduction of genetic engineered plants and animals (GE); concern is that WTO and Codex will require opening up NZ to GE. The Soil & Health Association of New Zealand would not be able to complete their campaign towards making New Zealand organic by 2020.
- DeWaal, Caroline Smith (January 6, 2011). "FDA Food Safety Modernization Act: Out of the Box". Food Safety News.
- Belsie, Laurent (January 5, 2011). "Food safety law: Six ways it will make food safer". The Christian Science Monitor.
- "Food Safety Legislation Key Facts". U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- "Estimates of Foodborne Illness in the United States". U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- "FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)". U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- Weise, Elizabeth (January 4, 2011). "Obama Signs Legislation To Improve Food Safety". USA TODAY.
- "President Obama Signs Landmark Food Safety Bill". Center for Effective Government. January 4, 2011.
- Bottemiller, Helena (January 20, 2012). "The Food Safety Modernization Act - One Year Later". Food Safety News.