The U.S. Senate is scheduled to review its version of a food safety bill next week, NACS reported.
The popular bill is not expected to have much trouble getting passed. Last year the House passed a similar bill, but there exists a large difference in the funding methods each chamber uses to increase the FDA’s budget: The House bill imposes a user fee on producers, manufacturers and processors, while the Senate bill relies on appropriations to raise revenue for new inspections.
NACS worked to secure provisions that help protect small retailers in the House version of the bill. And the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) has been providing input concerning better regulation of the nation’s food supply.
Also next week, the Senate will examine traceback and record-keeping requirements for farmers and small producers, as well as amendment from Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) concerning the ban of chemical commonly known as BPA, which is used in almost all types of food containers. The latter could force GMA to remove its support for the bill.
The FDA is already conducting a safety assessment of the chemical and the results from that test should show whether or not claims that BPA harms the neurological development of infants and young children are true, NACS noted.