House bill would toughen rules on im­ported food

Dayton Daily News - - OBITUARIES - By An­drew Za­jac Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON—In a world where we get gar­lic from China, shell­fish from Thai­land and sugar cane from Mex­ico, Congress is ready to ap­prove a food-safety bill that would strengthen the nation’s top reg­u­la­tor and im­pose new rules on do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion and trad­ing part­ners.

The leg­is­la­tion is aimed at pre­vent­ing tainted food from en­ter­ing the sup­ply chain, sick­en­ing Amer­i­cans and forc­ing huge re­calls. It would give the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion new pow­ers to de­mand re­calls and re­quire im­porters to cer­tify the safety of what they’re bring­ing into this coun­try.

By al­low­ing reg­u­la­tors, for in­stance, to re­act more quickly to re­ports of ill­ness, the leg­is­la­tion could limit or pre­vent re­calls such as those of spinach and peanuts in re­cent years, sup­port­ers said.

The House is ex­pected to pass the mea­sure to­day, send­ing it to Pres­i­dent Barack Obama for his sig­na­ture.

“This is a once-in-a-life­time update. A lot has changed since 1938,” when the cur­rent food reg­u­la­tory regime was es­tab­lished, said Ami Gad­hia, pol­icy coun­sel for the non­profit Con­sumers Union.

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