Your Food Just Got Safer

Posted by | May 9, 2011 14:49 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Among the whirlwind of statutes passed at the close of the historic 111th Congress was the Food Safety Modernization Act.  Implementation of the Act has now gotten underway with two new regulations from FDA (h/t OMB Watch):

The first rule strengthens FDA’s ability to prevent potentially unsafe food from entering commerce.  It allows the FDA to administratively detain food the agency believes has been produced under insanitary or unsafe conditions.  Previously, the FDA’s ability to detain food products applied only when the agency had credible evidence that a food product presented was contaminated or mislabeled in a way that presented a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.

The second rule requires anyone importing food into the United States to inform the FDA if any country has refused entry to the same product, including food for animals. This new requirement will provide the agency with more information about foods that are being imported, which improves the FDA’s ability to target foods that may pose a significant risk to public health.

The vast array of statutes passed by the Fighting 111th, from the well known (Affordable Care Act) to the ones covered less by the media (this Food Safety Act), leaves the Obama Administration with a vast array of policies to implement.  And each implementation involves decisions that will affect all of our lives.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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