Voluntary OSHA regs?

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, is sponsoring legislation to make some OSHA safety initiatives voluntary for small factories. The legislation-Occupational Safety Partnership Act (S. 2067), the Occupational Safety Fairness Act (S. 2066) and the HazCom Simplification and Modernization Act (S. 2067)-would enable small businesses to reclaim attorney's fees in successful legal OSHA claims against the government. OSHA inspectors would also be able to waive penalties for non-serious violations if they are promptly corrected. "Senator Enzi's solutions-oriented reforms will increase regulatory effectiveness and workplace safety while reducing costs that disproportionately hurt small manufacturers," said John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, which endorsed the legislation.

Don't say they didn't tell you

Food companies will now be notified in writing before the FDA conducts emergency food contamination inspections under the BioSecurity Act of 2002. Section 306 of the law gives FDA inspectors increased access to an involved company's records when there is a reasonable belief that a tainted product has entered the marketplace.

Previously, inspectors did not have to notify the company that they were searching its records. Now, once FDA determines a product poses a serious public health risk, the agency will submit FDA Form 482c, Notice of Inspection-Request for Records, to the owner, operator or agent in charge of the company to obtain the records that it needs.

Allergenic food labeling a must

FDA now requires food labels to clearly state if food products contain any ingredients that contain protein derived from the eight major allergenic foods. As a result of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA), manufacturers are required to identify the presence of ingredients that contain protein derived from milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or soybeans in the list of ingredients or to say "contains" followed by name of the source of the food allergen after or adjacent to the list of ingredients.