July 30, 2009(Key vote)
Title: Food Safety Regulation Amendments
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that expands the Food and Drug Administration's authority to regulate food products and food facilities, which include factories, warehouses, and other establishments that manufacture, process, pack or hold food.
Institutes an annual registration fee for each facility in order to pay for "food safety activities," and specifies that the fee shall be $500 for fiscal year 2010 and shall be adjusted for inflation in each subsequent fiscal year (Sec. 101).
Limits the total aggregate registration fee liability for an owner or operator of multiple facilities to no more than $175,000 for any fiscal year (Sec. 101).
Allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to suspend the registration of any facility for violating this bill in a manner that could cause "adverse health consequences or death" to humans or animals, and allows the Secretary to cancel a registration that was not properly updated, a registration that contains false, incomplete, or inaccurate information, or a registration for which the fee has not been paid within 30 days after the due date (Sec. 101).
Permits the Secretary of Health and Human Services to stop the distribution of foods found to pose "serious adverse health consequences or death" to humans or animals, and permits the Secretary to take the further step of ordering a recall of such food after allowing an opportunity for the distributor of the food to participate in an informal hearing (Sec. 111).
Categorizes facilities according to risk and assigns the following schedules for random inspection (Sec. 105):
A 'high-risk' facility is category 1 and must be inspected at least every 6 to 12 months;
A 'low-risk' facility is category 2 and must be inspected at least every 18 months to 3 years; and
A facility that holds food is category 3 and must be inspected at least every 5 years.
Permits the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish preventive control regulations or guidelines for the purpose of preventing unintentional contamination throughout the supply chain and requires all facilities to keep records of their efforts to comply with these regulations or guidelines (Sec. 102).
Provides that those who "knowingly" violate food safety provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act may be fined up to $50,000 per violation and up to $100,000 in a single proceeding for individuals, and up to $500,000 per violation and up to $7.5 million in a single proceeding for corporations and other entities (Sec. 135).
Provides that violators of food safety provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (other than those who have been found to have "knowingly" violated such provisions) may be fined up to $20,000 per violation and up to $50,000 in a single proceeding for individuals, and up to $250,000 per violation and up to $1 million in a single proceeding for corporations and other entities (Sec. 135).
Requires food importers to pay registration fees and allow for periodic inspections, and requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to create regulations to ensure that food importers are in compliance with the provisions of this bill (Sec. 204).
Exempts from the requirements of this bill certain meats, poultry, eggs, alcohol and other food products that are regulated by an authority other than the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the facilities that produce such products (Sec. 5).