Food Safety Bill May Not See Senate Action This Year

November 4, 2010

Whether the Food Safety Modernization Act (Senate Bill S510) will see any action in the upcoming lame-duck congressional session was a topic addressed in a webcast held today.

Whether the Food Safety Modernization Act (Senate Bill S510) will see any action in the upcoming lame-duck congressional session was a topic addressed in a webcast held today by the Council for Responsible Nutrition and Virgo Publishing. The bill would give FDA stronger tools to regulate safety in the food chain.


It will be challenging for Congress to address S510 in the limited timeframe, said the webcast speakers. It would also be unlikely that the Senate bill would be reconciled with the food safety bill passed by the House last year. However, the strong bipartisan support is a sign that food safety will remain a high priority and could be taken up by the next Congress.

If the bill is not passed, some speculate that FDA may try to use what authority it does have to try to strengthen food safety-including possibly instituting changes to the current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for food.

Dietary supplements, categorized by FDA law as food, will be affected by any changes enacted by the legislation, including provisions covering biannual facility registration, records control, new dietary ingredients guidance, and mandatory recalls. There are a few exemptions on the table, such as whether companies already adhering to the dietary supplement GMPs would also need to adhere to S510’s Hazard Analysis and Prevent Control requirements (Sec. 103).

Notably, there are no exemptions for dietary supplement ingredient suppliers, which would face all provisions of S510.