Senate Passes Food Safety Bill

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The United States Senate has passed legislation to prevent food borne illnesses and improve the food safety system in this country. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act would also protect small farmers and provide them with needed flexibility while strengthening our food supply.

SDFU President Doug Sombke praised the passage of this bill through the Senate.

"It's one more step in making our food supply safer," Sombke said. "This bill doesn't put unnecessary burdens on farmers and ranchers, and makes our food safer."

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) worked to pass this bill through the Senate.

“I’m pleased that this bill brings our food safety system into the 21st century without placing overly burdensome costs and regulations on our small agricultural producers. This bill will help ensure that the wholesome, nutritious food our farmers and ranchers produce makes it safely to our dinner tables,” said Johnson.

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act does not place unnecessary burdens on small businesses in South Dakota while also addressing the estimated 76 million cases of food borne illnesses that happen every year. The legislation allows small entities to use records they already keep to satisfy any requirements.

The bill maintains jurisdictional separation between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture, while giving the FDA the ability to issue mandatory recalls of contaminated product. The legislation also improves our capability to prevent contamination and the ability to respond to food borne illnesses.

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act only covers foods currently regulated by the FDA and ensures that imported foods meet the same standard of safety as domestic foods. Additionally, small entities that produce food for their own consumption or market the majority of their food directly to consumers or restaurants are not subject to registration or new recordkeeping requirements.

“The recent spinach and peanut butter recalls were a sign that we needed to do something to modernize our food system, better prevent these illnesses and respond more effectively to them. I’m pleased that this bipartisan bill does this without jeopardizing the flexibility producers in South Dakota rely on,” continued Johnson.


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