Tuesday, November 30, 2010 by Kathy Means
Unfortunately (but as expected), the Senate passed its food safety bill 73-25. A year ago July the House passed its version of the bill, which differs from the Senate’s. Though this might look like a loss, it is a win for courage. A bedrock principle for PMA on food safety reform is that it be based on risk and science. The bill that passed had components that were not based on risk and science. We were fairly certain the Senate would pass it, and many organizations we work with supported passage. But we couldn’t turn our backs on that core principle.
There are many components of this bill that we supported, such as requirements about written food safety plans, FDA recall authority, coverage of U.S. and non-U.S. products, and more. Should this bill become law by passing the House of Representatives, we will see a significant step forward in food safety rules from FDA.
What happens next? We will continue to support smart food safety reform based on risk and science as the bill is considered – whether it’s through a conference committee or House consideration of the Senate’s bill. As we continue our work in Washington, we’ll keep you informed and reach out your help.
Throughout the years of consideration of food safety reform, your government relations and food safety teams have worked tirelessly to advocate for the best food safety legislation and regulation for the produce industry. We will continue to work on your behalf, promoting smarter governance and addressing industry needs with legislators and regulators to help your bottom line.
Also, thanks to those of you who wrote your Senators yesterday. We had great success with member advocacy outreach. One hundred fifty-seven individuals (members, PMA staff, and others) sent more than 300 e-mail messages to the Senate. Several even called their Senators, and quite a few forwarded the alert to a friend for action. We are extremely pleased with this response from our members.