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Food Safety Modernization Act

Will FSMA Make a Difference?



To answer the question of whether the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will make a difference, I want to take a look historically at why FSMA ever got passed by Congress. To do this, I have to wind the clock back almost 10 years. The only thing that got FSMA through Congress — and those… Continue Reading

The Government’s Role in Food Safety


(U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, was co-author of the Tester-Hagan Amendment to the Food Safety Modernization Act, which exempted certain small, local producers from regulation. He sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee and also on its Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies.) As an organic farmer from north-central… Continue Reading

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It


In case you missed it, here are some of the top food safety stories from last week: PCA Sentencing: Stewart Parnell, former CEO of the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), was sentenced to 28 years in prison on Sept. 21. His peanut-broker brother, Michael Parnell, got 20 years, and former PCA Quality Assurance Manager Mary… Continue Reading

Guilty Verdict Puts Food Safety Responsibility Where It Belongs


Inspection at bottling plant

Guilty! The perpetrator of the 2008-09 Salmonella outbreak, Stewart Parnell of the Peanut Corporation of America, just received a 28-year sentence for knowingly distributing Salmonella-containing peanuts. The familiar refrain will be that this is evidence that our food safety system is broken. But those who believe that the response in 2010, the Food Safety Modernization… Continue Reading

New Era for Food Safety: What Companies Must Do



The processed food industry has evolved over the past several decades to keep pace with food safety advances, including the development of HACCP and, more recently, the implementation of GFSI-benchmarked food safety management programs. The implementation of FSMA is yet another revolutionary change that will have tremendous impact on the industry. Why? Because the food… Continue Reading

FDA Tells Senate Subcommittee Full Funding is ‘Absolutely Critical’ for FSMA Success


It’s an oft-heard statement from officials at the Food and Drug Administration: The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires sufficient funding allocated by Congress in order to be a success. The testimony that Acting FDA Commissioner Stephen Ostroff and Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor gave before the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday… Continue Reading

FDA Finalizes FSMA Preventive Controls Rules For Human, Animal Foods


Four-and-a-half years after the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law, the first two major rules have been finalized. On Aug. 31, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials announced that they had submitted the final rules on preventive controls in human and animal food to the Federal Register as required by the… Continue Reading

Why the CEO and Board Need to Pay Attention to FSMA


Bill Marler testifying on FSMA

In the spring of 2007, I was asked to testify before the U.S. House of Representative’s Energy and Commerce Committee, which was the committee tasked with modernizing our food safety system. From those hearings, which stretched from 2007 to 2009, came the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). On the Senate side of the hill, work… Continue Reading

Who Should Bear the Costs of Making Our Food Safe?



Is a simple cost-benefit analysis the right prism through which to view a preventive food safety program? Richard Williams’ interesting, but ultimately misguided, critique of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) strongly relies on cost-benefit worries to argue against four regulations the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to implement the new law. But… Continue Reading

Will FDA’s New Food Import Programs Make Food Safer?



First, the statistics. At the time that President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law in 2011, the United States imported about 15-20 percent of its domestic food supply, and as many as 70 percent of the food importers were small companies. Since FSMA was passed, the amount of food imported on… Continue Reading