WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Council of Chain Restaurants welcomed today’s Senate passage of landmark legislation strengthening federal food safety requirements and the Food and Drug Administration’s authority over the issue.
“Upgrading and modernizing the nation’s food safety system has long been a top priority for the chain restaurant industry,” NCCR President Jack Whipple said. “We commend the Senate for today’s passage of this important legislation and we urge the House to move quickly to take up the Senate-passed bill before concluding the current session of Congress.”
The Senate voted 73-25 today to approve S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. The bill represents the most significant expansion of food safety requirements and FDA food safety authority since enactment of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in 1938. It would grant the FDA a number of new powers including mandatory recall authority, which the agency has sought for years. The legislation would also require the FDA to act on more than a dozen sets of regulations and issue at least 10 guidance documents, as well as a host of reports, plans, strategies, standards, notices and other tasks. Implementation is expected to take several years.
The House passed a separate version of food safety reform in 2009, but leaders have reportedly agreed to accept the Senate version so President Obama can sign the measure into law before the end of the current lame duck session of Congress.
“The new resources and authority granted to the FDA in this legislation will enable it to adopt a preventive rather than reactive approach to safeguarding the food supply,” Whipple said. “The sooner the House passes the same bill, the sooner the FDA can go about the business of strengthening our food safety system.”
The National Council of Chain Restaurants is the leading trade association exclusively representing chain restaurant companies. For more than 40 years, NCCR has worked to advance sound public policy that best serves the interests of both chain restaurants and the millions of people they employ. NCCR members include some of the country’s largest and well-respected quick-serve and casual dining companies. NCCR is a division of the National Retail Federation, the world's largest retail trade group. www.nccr.net