Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, released a draft food safety bill that would give broad authority and enforcement tools to the Food and Drug Administration. The bill also would place increased responsibility on the food industry, with calls for enhanced ingredient tracking, country of origin labeling and fees for routine FDA inspections, which International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) has consistently opposed.
The bill combines provisions from other previously proposed food safety bills, including one offered by Representative John Dingell (D-MI). This combined bill would raise $300 million by requiring all food facilities to pay an annual, uncapped registration fee. The new fees would increase FDA’s overall funding level by approximately 50 percent.
Food-industry groups, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, oppose the proposed fees. Just last month, many spoke against the fees during the inaugural meeting of the President’s Food Safety Working Group at the White House.
The committee has scheduled a hearing to discuss the proposed legislation and intends to consider the bill in mark up as soon as the second week in the June.
Source: Wisconsin AG Connection