Legislation Calls for Consolidated Food Safety Agency

A Senator and a Representative introduce the Safe Food Act, which would place all food safety responsibilities under a Food Safety Administrator.

Legislation introduced in the House and Senate Wednesday would create a single agency to deal with food safety issues.

The Safe Food Act, introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Il., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., would modernize 100-year old food safety laws in addition to giving all food safety responsibilities and a unified budget to a Food Safety Administrator.

A recent Government Accountability Office report named the U.S. food safety system a high risk program. The bill fell short in the last Congress, but after the GAO raised concerns about the current federal oversight of food safety, the two legislators say food safety reform is gaining momentum.

The proposed Food Safety Administration would take over food safety and labeling responsibilities currently held by USDA and FDA, establish requirements for tracing food back to the farm, and oversee regular random inspection of all food processing plants. The agency would also have recall authority.

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