With a 215 to 144 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Food Safety Modernization Act, with only minor changes to the Senate’s version of the bill. With President Obama expected to sign off, the Act will soon become law. The chief purpose of the Act is to vest the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with increased authority to monitor food safety. Until the law is enacted, the FDA does not have direct authority to order food recalls; typically, the agency negotiates terms of voluntary recalls. In the wake of massive health scares over lettuce, peanut, and spinach in the last few years, the FDA will have increased authority to intervene.
The Act protects whistleblowers employed by companies “engaged in the manufacture, processing, packing, transportation, distribution, reception, holding or importation of food.” Continue reading ›