Farm Bureau Urges Refinement of Food Safety Bill

The Food Safety Enhancement Act, a bill that would overhaul food safety rules, includes provisions that concern farmers and ranchers, the Farm Bureau told the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in a letter. A committee hearing on the legislation was held Wednesday in Washington, D.C. AFBF supports the overall goal of the legislation, which is to strengthen and provide additional resources for food safety functions. However, further refinement is needed on some provisions including country-of-origin labeling, record-keeping and reporting, traceability requirements, safe production standards for fresh produce and raw commodities, language on antibiotic restrictions, and Food and Drug Administration authority on meat packaging that has the potential to threaten trade relationships.  Subcommittee markup of the bill is expected next week. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has indicated House leadership wants to pass a food safety bill this year.