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New food safety law impact on imports discussed at Global Food Safety Conference

US Food and Drug Administration Deputy Commissioner for Foods Michael Taylor focused on the new food safety law's impact on imports at the Global Food Safety Conference in London.

"All of you in this room acutely understand the major disruptions to our economies and to international trade that occur in the wake of major foodborne illness outbreaks and product recalls," said Taylor at the Global Food Safety Initiative-produced event. "You understand how these crises can undermine consumer confidence for months and years to come ...we know we can do better, and we must do better."

According to Taylor, import safety was a driving force behind the new law, which increases inspection frequencies, authority to access records and third-party verification abroad. "Importers will, for the first time, have a clearly defined responsibility and accountability for the safety of the food they bring into our country," said Taylor. "The new importer accountability provisions require importers to implement a foreign supplier verification program."

The expectations under the new law will be difficult to meet, said Taylor, but they are necessary. "Consumers around the world, not just in the United States, expect and demand safe food, no matter its source," he said. "We need to live up to those expectations."

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