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AFIA commends Congress on enacting landmark food safety legislation

The American Feed Industry Association is commending Congress for its diligence in enacting the sweeping changes in FDA oversight of American food safety in more than 70 years. The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 carries several firewalls to ensure human food regulations are not inappropriately applied to animal feed and petfoods and gives FDA first-time mandatory recall authority, but with administrative protections for regulated industry.

“We congratulate and thank Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) for not letting up in their effort to get the Senate food safety bill (S. 510) passed – and passed again," said Joel Newman, AFIA president and CEO.

“The end result of the Senate’s hard work is an even-handed set of new authorities, supported by agriculture, the food industry and consumer groups, allowing FDA to increase food safety protection without unduly burdening the industry."

Newman said the new law carries several additional requirements for FDA to recognize sourcing and production practices unique to the feed industry, including the need to buy ingredients from elevators and others who commingle grains and oilseeds from several farms, and to ensure FDA can exempt the feed and petfood industries from certain regulations when appropriate. Also in the law is new FDA authority to recognize and officially approve the use of third-party compliance, inspection and testing organizations as part of compliance regimens.

The new law does not impose registration fees on companies as the House-passed bill authorized, and does authorize user fees to pay the government’s cost of a mandatory recall, facility re-inspections, export certification and the voluntary importer inspection program.

The bill saw bipartisan support and support from a variety of consumer groups and associations. Critics said the law will stretch the federal government's reach without improving food safety.

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