Reports are that President Obama will sign the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) on Wednesday, January 4, 2010. Read the bill here. Among the bills many components is language that will hold food imported into the U.S. to higher standards. An amendment put forth by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and Kay Hagan (D-NC) has created an exemption for small farms and producers.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, “Under the provisions of FSMA, companies will be required to develop and implement written food safety plans, FDA will have the authority to better respond and require recalls when food safety problems occur, and FDA will be able to better ensure that imported foods are as safe for consumers as foods produced in the U.S.”
According to the Heritage Foundation, “Spanning some150 pages, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act would authorize the FDA to dictate how farmers grow fruits and vegetables, including rules governing soil, water, hygiene, packing, temperatures, and even what animals may roam which fields and when. It would also increase inspections of food “facilities” and tax them to do so. And, fulfilling the dream of a long line of agency officials, the bill grants the FDA unilateral authority to order recalls. In addition to the inevitable costs to consumers, expanding the agency’s regulatory reach would require additional spending of $1.4 billion between 2011 and 2015, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The costs to the private sector have not been calculated but would likely reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.”
© Northern Ag Network 2011