242122 Implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act: Challenges for federal agencies and their public and private partners

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Heather Horton, JD, MHA , Office of the General Counsel, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA
The Food Safety Modernization Act (P.L. 111-353) was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. It recognizes that foodborne illnesses present a significant public health burden that is largely preventable. This law is critically important considering that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases. This law expands the food safety-related authorities of the Federal govenment - in particular the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - and places new obligations on food producers and importers. The law requires importers to verify that their foreign suppliers have adequate preventive controls in place to ensure safety. Under this law, FDA has mandatory recall authority for food products as well as a mandate to require preventive controls across the food supply. Implementation of this complex law will undoubtedly present challenges for FDA, other government agencies, and the food industry. While this is largely considered to be an FDA law, it also directs other federal agencies to undertake new food safety-related activities, and it requires coordination between federal agencies, food producers, importers, and others in the public and private sectors. For example, this law requires CDC to designate Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence, and it recognizes the importance of collaboration among food safety officials at federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal food safety agencies. This presentation will discuss these and other challenges surrounding the implementation of this important new public health law.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the new role of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), working with other federal agencies and public and private partners, in building a new system of food safety oversight. Name new obligations of food producers and importers of food products.

Keywords: Food Safety, Federal Initiatives

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a senior attorney for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the federal agencies responsible for working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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