• Food Safety Legislation Enacted, Expanding Contacts FDA’s Authority
  • January 11, 2011 | Authors: Daniel A. Kracov; Vernessa T. Pollard; Margaret Renner; Benjamin H. Wallfisch
  • Law Firm: Arnold & Porter LLP - Washington Office
  • Congress passed the Food Safety and Modernization Act (the Food Safety Act or the Act) on December 21, 2010, after resolving a procedural hitch that threatened to stall the legislation. President Obama signed the Act into law on January 4, 2011. The Act greatly expands the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority over regulated foods, in the hope of improving food safety and preventing the types of outbreaks of foodborne illness that occur every year, and often lead to large multistate recalls. The legislation is intended to reposition FDA as a proactive rather than primarily reactive food regulator, allowing FDA to focus on prevention rather than remediation of food-safety-related incidents. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg has called the Act a “major step in the right direction.” For the food industry, the Act is expected to have profound effects on business practices and costs—if funds are appropriated to permit full FDA implementation of the legislation. www.arnoldporter.com