The President signed today the Food Safety Act which for all intent and purposes give more power to the Food and Drug Administration.
The highlights of the new act are many but I detail for you the main focus below.
The FDA may require certification or other forms of assurance for high-risk food imports. Consequently, the FDA may refuse to import food products that are lacking required certification.
The FDA will have the authority to review the current food safety practices of countries importing products into America. The Secretary of Health and Human Services will work with foreign governments to streamline the inspection of foreign food facilities.
The FDA will be given additional funding to incrementally increase the size of its field staff in order to manage the agency’s expanded responsibilities.
The new law mandates that FDA inspections of foreign food facilities must double each year for the next five years.
The law gives the FDA power to suspend a food production facility if a possible health risk is suspected. A new registration process will take place twice a year and companies must meet updated requirements or risk suspension.
Under the new law, the FDA must increase the frequency of its inspections. High-risk food production facilities will be inspected every three years while low-risk facilities will be visited within seven years of the law’s passing. Each year the FDA must report to Congress the frequency and cost of inspections.