In an effort to improve food safety and omit overlap between authorizing agencies, The Safe Food Act of 2015 was introduced in both houses of Congress on January 28th. This bill was introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).
The aim is to authorize all food safety inspections, enforcement, and labeling activities – independent of one federal department.
The agencies that will be incorporated include:
- FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs (which administer and conduct inspections of food and feed facilities and imports)
- USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service (which administers shell egg surveillance services)
- USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics mission area(which relates to food and feed safety)
- The part of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Inspection Health Services (which relates to the management of animals going into the food supply)
- The Department of the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce (which administers the seafood inspection program)
- FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM)
“What the bill does is remedy the situation,” DeLauro said. “With a single agency, we believe our country will be able to have the ability to detect relatively minor problems before they become major outbreaks.”
Both Durbin and DeLauro consider food safety an issue of national security. This Act will build upon the improvements made to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).