Some in Washington proposing FDA sweeping changes - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/3/09

Some in Washington proposing FDA sweeping changes

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By Cassie Hataway | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Democrats are calling for the biggest overhaul of the FDA in more than 2 decades. 

The changes they are asking for includes: charging food manufacturers $1,000 a year to help pay for inspections, mandatory recalls, stronger penalties, a faster checking system that could be as often as every 6 months, and no facility (in the US or abroad) would go more than 4 years without an inspection.  All of this is to prevent dangerous outbreaks like what we have seen recently from bad jalapenos or contaminated peanut products. 

It sounds good, but the FDA's new commissioner, Margaret Hamburg, says that there is still the problem of enforcement, "I'd love to sit here and say FDA could take it on and fully achieve it, but there is a reality of limited resources".

Republicans argue the government has already poured millions of dollars into food safety and, according to president Obama's budget, food manufacturers would pay $95 million in fees.  All of that is still less than a third of what Democrats are proposing. A House committee hopes to vote on this bill in the next few weeks. 

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