The Des Moines Register’s Philip Brasher writes today about the moves afoot in Congress to increase inspection of the nation’s food producers. A House committee may vote this week on a bill that would “force processors to develop and follow plans for preventing contamination of their products,” according to Brasher. “It would also require the government to inspect plants more frequently — as often as twice a year for the highest-risk products.” The new laws come with fees to pay for the increased inspection.
Roll Call reports that the meat industry is ready to fight the bill, which would give the Food and Drug Administration regulatory control over the meat industry. Meat producers are currently inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Right now, this is a bill we just don’t support,” said Colin Woodall, executive director of legislative affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “We are very much in support of food safety, but this bill would have a lot of unintended consequences and would add more costly regulations and won’t actually translate into safer food.”
Consumer groups favor moving inspection authority to the FDA.