Update 12/19/10: By unanimous consent on December 19, the Senate approved HR 2751 whose language was replaced by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (formerly S.510 and then included in amended spending bill, H.R. 3082). H.R. 2751 is expected to be up for vote in the House as early as Tuesday, December 21.
Contact your Representatives now! [See 12/20/10 action alert]
LEARN ABOUT S.510
Sep 23, 2010 – S510: Senator Coburn on Underlying Problems
Sep 23, 2010 – S510 Revised: FDA Coming to a Farm Near You
More than ever S510 represents a major threat to the local food movement, states’ autonomy to regulate food, and the country’s ability to become self-sufficient in food production.
On August 12 the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee released the manager’s package for S510″, a revised version of the “FDA Food Safety Modernization Act that is 77 pages longer than the version of S510 that passed out of the HELP Committee last November. [READ MORE]
Sep 8 – Hour 2: Pete Kennedy of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund joins the Doug Stephan show. Local Food and the FDA. [LISTEN]
May 6, 2010 – Food Safety – The Worst of Both Bills (HR 2749 & S 510)
If S 510 (the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act) passes the Senate, there would be a conference committee between members of the House and Senate to draft a food safety bill that would combine provisions of S 510 and HR 2749 (the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009) into a final version of the bill. The full House and Senate each would vote on this version of the bill to determine whether the food safety bill becomes law. [READ MORE]
Jan 29, 2010 – Food Safety – Can FDA Be Trusted?
Aside from the question of whether the food safety bills before Congress will reduce the number of foodborne illnesses in the United States and promote the public health, there is also the consideration of whether the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will enforce the provisions of any food safety bill that passes in a way that will be in the best interest of the American people. The agency’s history indicates that it will not. [READ MORE]
Nov 23 – Vote “NO” on Cloture & Oppose S.510
Nov 15 – Action Alert – Stop S.510
Jan 07 – Senate Food Safety Bill
Nov 10 – FTCLDF Alert about Food Safety Bill
Oct 30 – Senate Food Safety Bill
Oct 13 – FDA’s Ace in the Hole
Sep 17 – Reid: Food Safety Bill Is on Hold
May 05 – Food Safety Bill Would Ban BPA
BILL SUMMARY & STATUS
HR 2751 – A “cash for clunkers bill” was resurrected and amended to add FSMA provisions; passed by Senate 12/19/10 and passed by House 12/21/10; signed into law by President Jan. 4, 2011 as Public Law 111-353
HR 3082– A “continuing appropriations bill” amended to include FSMA and passed by House 12/8/10; rejected by Senate objections to “earmarks”; HR 3082 later passed without FSMA and was signed into law 12/22/10.
12/19/2010: The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) replaced the language of H.R. 2751, a “Cash for Clunkers” bill passed by the House in 2009 and is passed by the Senate through unanimous consent instead of a roll call vote.
12/8/2010: Instead of voting on S.510 in the House, the Democrats attached the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act to House spending bill, H.R. 3082 (the “Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011”), as Division D of the bill. The amended H.R. 3082 passed the House by a 212-206 vote .
11/30/2010: After numerous votes on proposed amendments and various procedural motions since November 17, S.510 the Senate by a Yea-Nay vote of 73-25. This Senate version of S.510 includes the Tester Amendment.
11/17/2010: Senator Reid’s motion for Cloture of S.510 passes 75-25, limiting debate on S.510; click here for voting results.
9/22-23/2010: Senator Reid attempts to get S510 added to the “Consent Calendar” to avoid floor debate on the bill. Senator Coburn raises legitimate concerns that have yet to be addressed by the bill’s Sponsor. See video, “Dr. Coburn Addresses Underlying Problems with S510”
9/13/2010: Senator Leahy introduces S3767, the “Food Safety Accountability Act of 2010” to impose stiff penalties for violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act which is proposed to be amended by S510.
12/18/2009: Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). Reported by Senator Harkin with an amendment in the nature of a substitute as S510_RS. Without written report.
12/18/2009: Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 247.
11/18/2009: Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). Ordered to be reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute favorably.
3/3/2009: Introductory remarks by sponsor Senator Durbin on S510. (CR S2692-2693)
FDA Food Safety Modernization Act – Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) to expand the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) to regulate food, including by authorizing the Secretary to suspend the registration of a food facility.
Requires each food facility to evaluate hazards and implement preventive controls.
Directs the Secretary to assess and collect fees related to: (1) food facility reinspection; (2) food recalls; and (3) the voluntary qualified importer program.
Requires the Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture to prepare the National Agriculture and Food Defense Strategy.
Requires the Secretary to: (1) identify preventive programs and practices to promote the safety and security of food; (2) promulgate regulations on sanitary food transportation practices; (3) develop a policy to manage the risk of food allergy and anaphylaxis in schools and early childhood education programs; (4) allocate inspection resources based on the risk profile of food facilities or food; (5) recognize bodies that accredit food testing laboratories; and (6) improve the capacity of the Secretary to track and trace raw agricultural commodities.
Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to enhance foodborne illness surveillance systems.
Authorizes the Secretary to order an immediate cessation of distribution, or a recall, of food.
Requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist state, local, and tribal governments in preparing for, assessing, decontaminating, and recovering from an agriculture or food emergency.
Provides for: (1) foreign supplier verification activities; (2) a voluntary qualified importer program; and (3) the inspection of foreign facilities registered to import food.
SPONSORSHIP FOR S.510 –
Sponsor(s): Sen Durbin, Richard [IL]
Sen Alexander, Lamar [TN] – 3/3/2009
Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] – 11/18/2009
Sen Burr, Richard [NC] – 3/3/2009
Sen Burris, Roland [IL] – 6/24/2009
Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] – 3/4/2009
Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] – 3/3/2009
Sen Enzi, Michael B. [WY] – 11/30/2009
Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] – 10/14/2009
Sen Gregg, Judd [NH] – 3/3/2009
Sen Harkin, Tom [IA] – 11/30/2009
Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] – 11/9/2009
Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] – 3/3/2009
Sen Kaufman, Edward E. [DE] – 9/13/2010
Sen Kennedy, Edward M. [MA] – 3/3/2009
Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] – 3/4/2009
Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] – 9/13/2010
Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin [NE] – 6/16/2010
Sen Udall, Tom [NM] – 7/28/2009
Sen Vitter, David [LA] – 5/27/2010
By Mr. DURBIN (for himself, Mr. Gregg, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Burr, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Alexander, and Mr. Isakson):
S. 510. A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the safety of the food supply; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, today I rise to introduce the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
When I introduced this bill in the last Congress, we were in the middle of one of the largest food-borne illness outbreaks in the history of our country. Nearly 1500 people fell sick last spring and summer because of Salmonella Saintpaul, leading to a Government investigation that pointed the finger first at tomatoes and then at jalapeno peppers in Texas before settling on Serrano peppers in Mexico. In the meantime, more people got sick and the tomato industry lost up to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Less than a year later, we find ourselves in the middle of yet another nationwide outbreak: peanut butter tainted with Salmonella, the second case of its kind in 2 years. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t hear about another recalled peanut butter product or another person sick with Salmonella. More than 660 people have been sickened, half of them children. At least nine people are dead. Over 2,600 products have been recalled, in a recall that goes back to March 2005 and could continue for at least another couple of years, making this one of the biggest food recalls in our Nation’s history.
Unfortunately, these problems seem to be par for the course. In the last couple of years we have seen Salmonella in our peppers and peanut butter and E. coli in our spinach. Our food safety problems do not just start and stop at home: we have also seen chemically tainted pet food, milk products, and seafood from China.
These problems are only the tip of the iceberg. Every year, more than 76 million Americans become sick because of a food-borne illness, 325,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 die.
It is clear that the Food and Drug Administration, who regulates these foods and 80 percent of our food supply, including virtually all food imports, can not keep up. The agency is underfunded and overwhelmed. It operates under an obsolete, largely reactive 1938 law. Its food safety program has not kept up with the dramatic changes in our food system, and it does a poor job of preventing and responding to food safety problems. As a result, consumers suffer and so do businesses something we can never afford, but especially in these trying economic times.
Our food safety system is in crisis and it is time that we act. That’s why Senator Gregg and I are introducing he FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, a bipartisan bill that gives the FDA the new authorities and resources it needs to stop food safety problems before they start.
For the first time in history, our bill gives the FDA a mandate to inspect: to increase the inspections at all food facilities, including annual inspections of high risk facilities. It requires the food industry to have in place plans that address identified hazards with the right preventive measures. It requires all testing and sampling for regulatory purposes to be done by labs accredited by the FDA, and requires those results to be sent to the agency. It also enables the FDA to more effectively respond to an outbreak by giving the agency new authorities to order recalls, shut down tainted facilities, and access records.
This bill is proof that food safety is not a Democratic issue or a Republican one. Everyone eats. All Americans have a right to know that the food we buy for our families and our pets is safe. We should not have to worry about getting sick, or worse. If there’s a problem, our Government should be able to catch it and fix it before people die.
I thank Senators Kennedy, Dodd, Klobuchar, Burr, Alexander, and Chambliss for joining me in this effort. I also want to thank the consumer, public health, and industry groups who have helped us craft a strong bill for their support: Consumer Federation of America, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumers Union, Trust for America’s Health, Grocery Manufacturers of America, American Feed Industry Association, American Frozen Food Institute, Food Marketing Institute, National Fisheries Institute, and American Spice Trade Association.
This bill is a comprehensive, bipartisan effort that improves the FDA’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to food safety problems, whether this means Salmonella-tainted peanut butter from Georgia or melamine-spiked candy from China. It’s the first step towards building a food safety system that is science and risk-based, accountable to consumers, more transparent, and focused on prevention. I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the RECORD.