Text: S.2356 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (07/27/1998)

 
[Congressional Bills 105th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 2356 Introduced in Senate (IS)]







105th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 2356

   To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to provide for 
 uniform food safety warning notification requirements, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 27, 1998

Mr. Roberts (for himself, Mr. Enzi, Mr. Kerrey, Mr. Harkin, Mr. Lugar, 
 Mr. Warner, and Mr. Johnson) introduced the following bill; which was 
 read twice and referred to the Committee on Labor and Human Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to provide for 
 uniform food safety warning notification requirements, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``National Uniformity for Food Act of 
1998''.

SEC. 2. NATIONAL UNIFORMITY FOR FOOD.

    (a) National Uniformity.--Section 403A(a) of the Federal Food, 
Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 343-1(a)) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``or'' at the end of paragraph (4);
            (2) in paragraph (5), by striking the period and inserting 
        a comma; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(6) any requirement for the labeling of food described in 
        section 403(j), or 403(s), that is not identical to the 
        requirement of such section, or
            ``(7) any requirement for a food described in section 
        402(a)(1), 402(a)(2), 402(a)(6), 402(a)(7), 402(c), 402(f), 
        402(g), 404, 406, 408, 409, 512, or 721(a), that is not 
        identical to the requirement of such section.''.
    (b) Uniformity in Food Safety Warning Notification Requirements.--
Chapter IV of such Act (21 U.S.C. 341 et seq.) is amended--
            (1) by redesignating sections 403B and 403C as sections 
        403C and 403D, respectively; and
            (2) by inserting after section 403A the following new 
        section:

``SEC. 403B. UNIFORMITY IN FOOD SAFETY WARNING NOTIFICATION 
              REQUIREMENTS.

    ``(a) Uniformity Requirement.--
            ``(1) In general.--Except as provided in subsections (b) 
        and (c), no State or political subdivision of a State may, 
        directly or indirectly, establish or continue in effect under 
        any authority any notification requirement for a food that 
        provides for a warning concerning the safety of the food, or 
        any component or package of the food, unless such a 
        notification requirement has been prescribed under the 
        authority of this Act and the State or political subdivision 
        notification requirement is identical to the notification 
        requirement prescribed under the authority of this Act.
            ``(2) Definitions.--For purposes of paragraph (1)--
                    ``(A) the term `notification requirement' includes 
                any mandatory disclosure requirement relating to the 
                dissemination of information about a food in any 
                manner, such as through a label, labeling, poster, 
                public notice, advertising, or any other means of 
                communication; and
                    ``(B) the term `warning', used with respect to a 
                food, means any statement, vignette, or other 
                representation that indicates, directly or by 
                implication, that the food presents or may present a 
                hazard to health or safety.
    ``(b) Exemptions and National Standards.--
            ``(1) Exemptions.--Any State may petition the Secretary to 
        provide by regulation, after providing notice and an 
        opportunity for written and oral presentation of views, an 
        exemption from subsection (a) for a requirement of the State or 
        a political subdivision of the State. The Secretary may provide 
        such an exemption, under such conditions as the Secretary may 
        impose, for such a requirement that--
                    ``(A) protects an important public interest that 
                would otherwise be unprotected, in the absence of the 
                exemption;
                    ``(B) would not cause any food to be in violation 
                of any applicable requirement or prohibition under 
                Federal law; and
                    ``(C) would not unduly burden interstate commerce, 
                balancing the importance of the public interest of the 
                State or political subdivision against the impact on 
                interstate commerce.
            ``(2) National standards.--Any State may petition the 
        Secretary to establish by regulation, after providing notice 
        and an opportunity for written and oral presentation of views, 
        a national standard respecting any requirement under this Act 
        or the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (15 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.) 
relating to the regulation of a food.
            ``(3) Action on petitions.--
                    ``(A) Publication.--Not later than 30 days after 
                receipt of any petition under paragraph (1) or (2), the 
                Secretary shall publish such petition in the Federal 
                Register for public comment during a period specified 
                by the Secretary.
                    ``(B) Time periods for action.--Not later than 60 
                days after the end of the period for public comment, 
                the Secretary shall take action on the petition. If the 
                Secretary is unable to take action on the petition 
                during the 60-day period, the Secretary shall inform 
                the petitioner, in writing, the reasons that taking the 
                action is not possible, the date by which the action 
                will be taken, and the action that will be taken or is 
                likely to be taken. In every case, the Secretary shall 
                take action on the petition not later than 120 days 
                after the end of the period for public comment.
            ``(4) Judicial review.--The failure of the Secretary to 
        comply with any requirement of this subsection shall constitute 
        final agency action for purposes of judicial review. If the 
        court conducting the review determines that the Secretary has 
        failed to comply with the requirement, the court shall order 
        the Secretary to comply within a period determined to be 
        appropriate by the court.
    ``(c) Imminent Hazard Authority.--
            ``(1) In general.--A State may establish a requirement that 
        would otherwise violate section 403A or subsection (a) if--
                    ``(A) the requirement is needed to address an 
                imminent hazard to health that is likely to result in 
                serious adverse health consequences or death;
                    ``(B) the State has instituted enforcement action 
                with respect to the matter involved in compliance with 
                State law;
                    ``(C) the State has informed the Secretary about 
                the matter and the Secretary has not initiated 
                enforcement action with respect to the matter; and
                    ``(D) a petition is submitted by the State under 
                subsection (b) for an exemption or national standard 
                relating to the requirement not later than the date 
                that the State establishes the requirement under this 
                subsection.
            ``(2) Action on petition.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The Secretary shall take action 
                on any petition submitted under paragraph (1)(D) not 
                later than 7 days after the petition is received.
                    ``(B) Judicial review.--The failure of the 
                Secretary to comply with the requirement described in 
                subparagraph (A) shall constitute final agency action 
                for purposes of judicial review. If the court 
                conducting the review determines that the Secretary has 
                failed to comply with the requirement, the court shall 
                order the Secretary to comply within a period 
                determined to be appropriate by the court.
    ``(d) Affect on Product Liability Law.--Nothing in this section 
shall be construed to modify or otherwise affect the product liability 
law of any State.
    ``(e) No Affect on Identical Law.--Nothing in this section or 
section 403A relating to a food shall be construed to prevent a State 
or political subdivision of a State from establishing, enforcing, or 
continuing in effect a requirement that is identical to a requirement 
of this Act.
    ``(f) No Affect on Certain State Law.--Nothing in this section or 
section 403A relating to a food shall be construed to prevent a State 
or political subdivision of a State from establishing, enforcing, or 
continuing in effect a requirement relating to freshness dating, open 
date labeling, grade labeling, a State inspection stamp, religious 
dietary labeling, organic or natural designation, returnable bottle 
labeling, unit pricing, or a statement of origin.''.
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