WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Trust for America's Health (TFAH) applauded Congress today for final passage of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010. Because of the bill, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will have the authority it needs to help prevent foodborne illnesses for the first time ever.
The bill focuses on preventing illnesses by ensuring safety through the entire food production process. Under this legislation, food processors are required to identify potential hazards in their production processes and put in place programs to eliminate those hazards. The bill also requires the FDA to inspect all food facilities more frequently and allows them to recall contaminated food.
"It is unbelievable that in today's modern world, 47.8 million Americans needlessly get sick from food every year. This bill provides the preventive measures to significantly bring that number down," said Jeffrey Levi, Ph.D., executive director of TFAH. "The bill finally catches up with the times and will help modernize how the country prevents foodborne illnesses."
TFAH commends the bipartisan leadership on both sides of Capitol Hill for making this decades-overdue legislation a reality. We are extremely grateful to Senators Durbin, Harkin, Dodd, Enzi, Gregg and Burr as well as Representatives Waxman, Dingell, and DeLauro and their staffs for their commitment to the bill. TFAH also thanks the Make Our Food Safe Coalition for its tireless work to bring this historic legislation to the President's desk.
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010:
- Requires FDA to inspect high-risk food-processing plants at least once every three years, rather than once every 10 years (the current rate);
- Provides FDA with mandatory recall authority – something the agency did not have;
- Requires imported food to meet the same safety standards as domestically produced food;
- Directs FDA, in consultation with the United States Department of Agriculture, the National Organic Program, and the Department of Homeland Security, to develop standards to prevent the contamination of leafy greens, fruits and vegetables; and
- Requires food processors to identify where contamination may occur in their food production process, and take the steps necessary to prevent it.
Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org
SOURCE Trust for America's Health