The US Senate approves a law on food safety. Strengthened the role of the FDA

The US Senate approves a law on food safety. Strengthened the role of the FDA

Anyone who thinks that Italian and European legislation on food safety does not protect citizens very much should rather look into the “home” of others. For example in the United States, where the Senate has just approved a large bill that puts a hand on food health legislation for the first time after the Second World War and after numerous episodes of poisoning (especially from eggs and peanut butter ) of the last years.

The “Food Safety Modernization Act” was nothing short of necessary: ​​many things have changed in the food chain from the 1940s to today and the damage caused by contamination during the food production process, in a globalized society, can be much more serious and above all affect a lot. farther.

The provision strengthens the role of the Food and Drug Administration, the body that supervises the American pharmaceutical and food sector, so far with a clear imbalance on the first function, given the few powers it had in the second area. For example, until yesterday the FDA did not have the legal power to withdraw foods suspected of being dangerous from the market, but was only authorized to “recall” the manufacturer.

Among the other novelties of the provision, the state subsidies that will allow the FDA to perform many more checks and the new standardized safety procedures to which companies will be forced to comply.

The legislation, passed in the Senate with the support of both Democrats and Republicans, will now have to return to the House for final approval. President Obama has urged Parliament to act quickly: there may not be enough time for the usual bargaining between the Senate and the House, which had approved its version of the measure already last year. While food safety advocates and industry associations prefer the House version, which contained fewer exceptions to the rules, for example for small producers, the Senate bill appears to be more successful.

Indeed, despite the bipartisan support and strong commitment of the Obama administration, which considers it one of its priorities, the law has sparked a strong debate and has been criticized on many fronts. For example, by activists of the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement, who have branded it as yet another government intrusion into the private sector. Small farmers, on the other hand, are perplexed about the costs that adaptation to the new safety measures will entail. Even the most vocal opponent of the new rules, Republican Senator from Oklahoma Tom Coburn, is monetary critic, who says the new legislation will cost the government $ 1.4 billion over the next four years.

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