Will The Food Safety Bill Make Our Meals Safer?

"There are parts of the legislation that would address some long overdue gaps in FDA's authority -- such as giving the agency mandatory recall authority (right now, food recalls are voluntary and are called by the company.) But we would like to see some additions to the Senate bill to make FDA function even better, primarily an increase in the frequency of inspection (right now, the bill calls for inspecting high risk food processing facilities once every five years), giving the agency access to records kept by the company when they are there for a routine inspection (now they have to wait for a problem before looking at the company's records, which is a little late to find out that they weren't keeping good records), and tightening the requirements for imported food inspection."

William Hubbard

William Hubbard

Former Associate Commissioner, FDA

"The food safety bill, if enacted, would allow FDA to transform the food safety system in the United States, which currently puts most responsibility on that agency to prevent food contamination, but which has been shown to be ineffective."<

"The bill would focus FDA on setting standards for assuring safe food production, and rely on food producers to carry out those standards by preventing food from becoming contaminated in the first place. It would give FDA authority to recall contaminated food and require importers of food from other countries to be more vigilant in bringing in safe food. Passage of the bill would be the most important advance in food safety since FDA was created in 1906."

"However, FDA's budget for food safety has been so reduced in recent years, that the agency will need new inspectors and other scientists to allow the bill to have its full benefit."<

Scott Faber

Scott Faber

Vice President for Federal Affairs, Grocery Manufacturers Association

"We feel that now more than ever the time is right for the Senate to pass the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. GMA and the food and beverage industry is committed to partnering with Congress, the Obama administration and the FDA to strengthen and modernize our nation's food safety system. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act pending in the Senate, if passed, will provide FDA with the resources and authorities the agency needs to help strengthen our nation's food safety system by making prevention the focus of our food safety strategies. We are urging the Senate to vote on this important, bipartisan bill early in the lame duck session."<

"The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act will enhance public health and safety by requiring all food companies to develop a food safety plan, adopting a risk-based approach to inspection and improving the safety of imported food and food ingredients."

Douglas Powell

Dr. Douglas Powell

Associate Professor, Kansas State University

"Government sets minimal standards, which the best food producers, processors and retailers exceed daily, while talking heads blather. There are bad players in the system, which government is supposed to catch, but given the pervasive food safety outbreaks over the past 20 years, they don't seem very good at it."

"Will the new bill mean fewer sick people? Doubtful."

Susan Davison

Director, Corporate Affairs, Kraft Foods Inc.

"The safety and quality of our products are of the highest importance to us -- as are the trust and confidence of our consumers and customers. And, at Kraft Foods, we work to earn that trust every day."

"We support legislation that will strengthen America's food safety systems. There are a number of measures we believe will help accomplish this goal, including:

The requirement for comprehensive food safety plans so that every manufacturer will take a preventive approach to identifying and evaluating potential hazards.

Increased funding for FDA that includes helping to improve food safety science. It is critically important to rebuild a strong scientific base within FDA.

We believe that these actions, among others, will help strengthen food safety in the United States. We look forward to the opportunities for improvement that will come with a new statutory framework."

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