Food Safety

Food safety bill's future in question

Will the bill pass Senate muster?

Originally intended to improve food safety in the US, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, as approved by the House of Representatives before summer recess, may result in spending more dollars for less consumer protection, says Rod Leonard, IATP (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy) board member. Leonard is also the executive director of the Community Nutrition Institute and a former food safety official in the USDA, where in the 1960s, he merged food agencies in the USDA and created food standards to improve food safety.

According to Leonard, the legislation has two strikes against it. First, the proposal took shape in a series of compromises among a tightly knit group of consumer and non-government organizations. They wanted to see the creation of a single group, a merger of FDA and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA to safeguard America’s food supply. Second, Leonard says the legislation will have little future in Congress without the White House taking a strong leadership role in advancing the bill.

The new bill could leave the public more vulnerable to food-borne disease, says Leonard. For example, FDA will be mandated to operate a risk-based food safety system. It would put food into five risk categories, ranking food makers and producers from the least to most risky. According to Leonard, with limited resources, FDA would concentrate on those producers producing the most high-risk foods. Where this concept falls apart, says Leonard, is the increasing number of incidents of horticultural products (traditionally low-risk) contaminated with pathogens of animal origin (traditionally high-risk).

The House bill on FDA reforms goes to the US Senate, where the outlook is dim, according to Leonard. “Any Senate action in 2009 must wait until health reform and climate legislation is adopted,” says Lenoard.

To read the entire document, Food safety in the legislative grinder, visit IATP.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo 2015

Images from Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo in Clearwater Beach, Florida, April 12-15, 2015. The event brought food and beverage processors and suppliers together to gain valuable information on the latest trends and technologies in manufacturing, automation, sustainability and food safety.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering May 2015 Cover

2015 May

The May 2015 issue of Food Engineering explores effective tools for hitting manufacturing targets. Also, read how processors are looking for faster ways to detect harmful pathogens in food and beverages without sacrificing accuracy or reliability.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.