Washington, D.C., January 3, 2010 – President Obama is expected to sign the food safety bill
into law tomorrow that will finally begin to address the dangerous gaps in our
nation’s woefully outdated food safety system. The bipartisan FDA Food
Modernization Act (S. 510) for the first time grants the Food and Drug
Administration greater regulatory authority to inspect food processing plants
and recall contaminated food. Passage of food safety modernization legislation
has long been a priority for APHA.
“The public health community
celebrates this tremendous step forward in protecting U.S. families
from foodborne illnesses, which affect millions of Americans every year,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive
director of APHA. “We thank the
president and Congress for making food safety a public health priority in this
The long overdue food
safety bill aims to improve the capacity and coordination of federal, state and
local government agencies, which are at the frontlines of preventing, detecting
and responding to outbreaks. It also will
make significant strides to protect the health of all U.S. families
by establishing a comprehensive plan to improve the safety of our nation’s
food. Additionally, the measure would offer grants to enhance education, training
and technical assistance to help agencies comply with the new requirements.
“We owe this victory to
the countless public health advocates across the country and the food safety
champions in Congress who all demonstrated unwavering determination to enact
this bill,” said Benjamin.
This important law will
require strong government oversight and dedicated funding that will provide the
FDA the authority and resources it needs to fully implement all of the critical
provisions aimed at strengthening the nation’s food system.
APHA is a member of the
Make Our Food Safe coalition, an alliance of public health organizations,
consumer organizations and groups representing the families of victims of