Regulatory: Food and Drug Safety Under the Obama Administration

The Obama Administration has taken aggressive steps to address perceived weaknesses in the food and drug safety area. Many of these problems arose from the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) slow response to the internationalization of supply chains.

Transforming Food Safety. FDA is developing a modern food import program to evaluate food safety programs in supplier countries and enhance its oversight and surveillance programs for imported foods. To help prevent foodborne illnesses, the agency will issue binding standards for inspection of produce and other food products and for analysis of samples. The FDA has also adopted a new process to assess the risks of imported foods as they enter the country and target shipments that pose the greatest risk for closer attention. Its priorities include imports of seafood and fresh produce and foods produced in China. These steps will allow the agency to better hold companies responsible for the performance of their global supply chains.

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John Cooney

John F. Cooney is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Venable.

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