Text: S.429 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (02/12/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 429


To ensure the safety of imported food products for the citizens of the United States, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 12, 2009

Mr. Casey (for himself and Mr. Grassley) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry


A BILL

To ensure the safety of imported food products for the citizens of the United States, 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; table of contents.

(a) Short title.—This Act may be cited as the “Ending Agricultural Threats: Safeguarding America's Food for Everyone (EAT SAFE) Act of 2009”.

(b) Table of contents.—The table of contents of this Act is as follows:


Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Findings.

Sec. 3. Definitions.

Sec. 4. Food safety training, personnel, and coordination.

Sec. 5. Reporting of smuggled food products.

Sec. 6. Civil penalties relating to illegally imported meat and poultry products.

Sec. 7. Certification of food safety labs.

Sec. 8. Data sharing.

Sec. 9. Public notice regarding recalled food products.

Sec. 10. Foodborne illness education and outreach competitive grants program.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress finds that—

(1) the safety of the food supply of the United States is vital to—

(A) the health of the citizens of the United States;

(B) the preservation of the confidence of those citizens in the food supply of the United States; and

(C) the success of the food sector of the United States economy;

(2) the United States has the safest food supply in the world, and maintaining a secure domestic food supply is imperative for the national security of the United States;

(3) in a report published by the Government Accountability Office in January 2007, the Comptroller General of the United States described food safety oversight as 1 of the 29 high-risk program areas of the Federal Government; and

(4) the task of preserving the safety of the food supply of the United States is complicated by pressures relating to—

(A) food products that are smuggled or imported into the United States without being screened, monitored, or inspected as required by law; and

(B) the need to improve the enforcement of the United States in reducing the quantity of food products that are—

(i) smuggled into the United States; and

(ii) imported into the United States without being screened, monitored, or inspected as required by law.

SEC. 3. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) ADMINISTRATION.—The term “Administration” means the Food and Drug Administration.

(2) ADMINISTRATOR.—The term “Administrator” means the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

(3) DEPARTMENT.—The term “Department” means the Department of Agriculture.

(4) FOOD DEFENSE THREAT.—The term “food defense threat” means any intentional contamination, including any disease, pest, or poisonous agent, that could adversely affect the safety of human or animal food products.

(5) SMUGGLED FOOD PRODUCT.—The term “smuggled food product” means a prohibited human or animal food product that a person fraudulently brings into the United States.

(6) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture.

SEC. 4. Food safety training, personnel, and coordination.

(a) Department.—

(1) TRAINING PROGRAMS.—

(A) AGRICULTURAL SPECIALISTS.—

(i) ESTABLISHMENT.—The Secretary shall establish training programs to educate each Federal employee who is employed in a position described in section 421(g) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 231(g)) on issues relating to food safety and agroterrorism.

(ii) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subparagraph $1,700,000.

(B) CROSS-TRAINING OF EMPLOYEES OF UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION.—

(i) ESTABLISHMENT.—The Secretary shall establish training programs to educate border patrol agents employed by the United States Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security about identifying human, animal, and plant health threats and referring the threats to the appropriate agencies.

(ii) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subparagraph $4,800,000.

(2) ILLEGAL IMPORT DETECTION PERSONNEL.—Subtitle G of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 6981 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“SEC. 263. Food safety personnel and training.

“(a) Additional employees.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Ending Agricultural Threats: Safeguarding America's Food for Everyone (EAT SAFE) Act of 2009, the Secretary shall hire a sufficient number of employees to increase the number of full-time field investigators, import surveillance officers, support staff, analysts, and compliance and enforcement experts employed by the Food Safety and Inspection Service as of October 1, 2007, by 100 employees, in order to—

“(1) provide additional detection of food defense threats;

“(2) detect, track, and remove smuggled human food products from commerce; and

“(3) impose penalties on persons or organizations that threaten the food supply.

“(b) Authorization of appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $10,000,000.”.

(b) Administration.—Chapter IV of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 341 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“SEC. 418. Food safety personnel and training.

“(a) In general.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Ending Agricultural Threats: Safeguarding America's Food for Everyone (EAT SAFE) Act of 2009, the Secretary shall hire a sufficient number of employees to increase the number of full-time field investigators, import surveillance officers, support staff, analysts, and compliance and enforcement experts employed by the Food and Drug Administration as of October 1, 2007, by 150 employees, in order to—

“(1) provide additional detection of food defense threats;

“(2) detect, track, and remove smuggled food products from commerce; and

“(3) impose penalties on persons or organizations that threaten the food supply.

“(b) Authorization of appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $15,000,000.”.

(c) Coordination of Federal agencies.—Section 411(b) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 211(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(4) COORDINATION OF FEDERAL AGENCIES.—The Commissioner of United States Customs and Border Protection, in coordination with the Secretary of Agriculture and the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, shall conduct activities to target, track, and inspect shipments that—

“(A) contain human and animal food products; and

“(B) are imported into the United States.”.

SEC. 5. Reporting of smuggled food products.

(a) Department.—

(1) PUBLIC NOTIFICATION.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 3 days after the date on which the Department identifies a smuggled food product, the Secretary shall provide to the public notification describing the food product identified by the Department and, if available, the individual or entity that smuggled the food product.

(B) REQUIRED FORMS OF NOTIFICATION.—The Secretary shall provide public notification under subparagraph (A) through—

(i) a news release of the Department for each smuggled food product identified by the Department;

(ii) a description of each smuggled food product on the website of the Department;

(iii) the management of a periodically updated list that contains a description of each individual or entity that smuggled the food product identified by the Secretary under subparagraph (A); and

(iv) any other appropriate means, as determined by the Secretary.

(2) NOTIFICATION TO DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.—Not later than 30 days after the date on which the Department identifies a smuggled food product, the Secretary shall provide to the Department of Homeland Security notification of the smuggled food product.

(b) Administration.—

(1) PUBLIC NOTIFICATION.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 3 days after the date on which the Administration identifies a smuggled food product, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall provide to the public notification describing the smuggled food product identified by the Administration and, if available, the individual or entity that smuggled the food product.

(B) REQUIRED FORMS OF NOTIFICATION.—The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall provide public notification under subparagraph (A) through—

(i) a press release of the Administration for each smuggled food product identified by the Administration;

(ii) a description of each smuggled food product on the website of the Administration;

(iii) the management of a periodically updated list that contains a description of each individual or entity that smuggled the food product identified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under subparagraph (A); and

(iv) any other appropriate means, as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

(2) NOTIFICATION TO DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.—Not later than 30 days after the date on which the Administration identifies a smuggled food product, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall provide to the Department of Homeland Security notification of the smuggled food product.

SEC. 6. Civil penalties relating to illegally imported meat and poultry products.

(a) Meat products.—Section 20(b) of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 620(b)) is amended—

(1) by striking “(b) The Secretary” and inserting the following:

“(b) Destruction; civil penalties.—

“(1) DESTRUCTION.—The Secretary”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(2) CIVIL PENALTIES.—Each individual or entity that fails to present each meat article that is the subject of the importation of the individual or entity to an inspection facility approved by the Secretary shall be liable for a civil penalty assessed by the Secretary in an amount not to exceed $25,000 for each meat article that the individual or entity fails to present to the inspection facility.”.

(b) Poultry products.—Section 12 of the Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 461) is amended—

(1) by striking the section heading and all that follows through “(a) Any person” and inserting the following:

“SEC. 12. Penalties.

“(a) Penalties relating to the violation of certain sections.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Any person”; and

(2) in subsection (a) (as amended by paragraph (1)), by adding at the end the following:

“(2) FAILURE TO PRESENT POULTRY PRODUCTS AT DESIGNATED INSPECTION FACILITIES.—Each individual or entity that fails to present each poultry product that is the subject of the importation of the individual or entity to an inspection facility approved by the Secretary shall be liable for a civil penalty assessed by the Secretary in an amount not to exceed $25,000 for each poultry product that the individual or entity fails to present to the inspection facility.”.

(c) Egg products.—Section 12 of the Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 1041) is amended—

(1) by striking the section heading and all that follows through “(a) Any person” and inserting the following:

“SEC. 12. Penalties.

“(a) Penalties relating to the violation of certain prohibited actions.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Any person”; and

(2) in subsection (a) (as amended by paragraph (1)), by adding at the end the following:

“(2) FAILURE TO PRESENT EGG PRODUCTS AT DESIGNATED INSPECTION FACILITIES.—Each individual or entity that fails to present each egg product that is the subject of the importation of the individual or entity to an inspection facility approved by the Secretary shall be liable for a civil penalty assessed by the Secretary in an amount not to exceed $25,000 for each egg product that the individual or entity fails to present to the inspection facility.”.

SEC. 7. Certification of food safety labs; submission of test results.

(a) In general.—Chapter IV of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 341 et seq.), as amended by section 4(b), is amended by adding at the end the following:

“SEC. 419. Certification of food safety labs; submission of test results.

“(a) Definition of food safety lab.—In this section, the term ‘food safety lab’ means an establishment that conducts testing, on behalf of an importer through a contract or other arrangement, to ensure the safety of articles of food.

“(b) Certification requirement.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—A food safety lab shall submit to the Secretary an application for certification. Upon review, the Secretary may grant or deny certification to the food safety lab.

“(2) CERTIFICATION STANDARDS.—The Secretary shall establish criteria and methodologies for the evaluation of applications for certification submitted under paragraph (1). Such criteria shall include the requirements that a food safety lab—

“(A) be accredited as being in compliance with standards set by the International Organization for Standardization;

“(B) agree to permit the Secretary to conduct an inspection of the facilities of the food safety lab and the procedures of such lab before making a certification determination;

“(C) agree to permit the Secretary to conduct routine audits of the facilities of the food safety lab to ensure ongoing compliance with accreditation and certification requirements;

“(D) submit with such application a fee established by the Secretary in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of application review, including inspection under subparagraph (B); and

“(E) agree to submit to the Secretary, in accordance with the process established under subsection (c), the results of tests conducted by such food safety lab on behalf of an importer.

“(c) Submission of test results.—The Secretary shall establish a process by which a food safety lab certified under this section shall submit to the Secretary the results of all tests conducted by such food safety lab on behalf of an importer.”.

(b) Enforcement.—Section 303(f) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 333(f)) is amended—

(1) by redesignating paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) as paragraphs (7), (8), and (9), respectively;

(2) by inserting after paragraph (4) the following:

“(5) An importer (as such term is used in section 419) shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $25,000 if such importer knowingly engages in the falsification of test results submitted to the Secretary by a food safety lab certified under section 419.

“(6) A food safety lab certified under section 419 shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $25,000 for knowingly submitting to the Secretary false test results under section 419.”;

(3) in paragraph (2)(C), by striking “paragraph (5)(A)” and inserting “paragraph (7)(A)”;

(4) in paragraph (7), as so redesignated, by striking “or (4)” each place it appears and inserting “(4), (5), or (6)”;

(5) in paragraph (8), by striking “paragraph (5)(A)” and inserting “paragraph (7)(A)”; and

(6) in paragraph (9), as so redesignated, by striking “paragraph (6)” each place it appears and inserting “paragraph (8)”.

SEC. 8. Data sharing.

(a) Department of Agriculture memoranda of understanding.—The Secretary shall ensure that the agencies within the Department of Agriculture, including the Food Safety and Inspection Service, the Agricultural Research Service, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, enter into a memorandum of understanding to ensure the timely and efficient sharing of all information collected by such agencies related to foodborne pathogens, contaminants, and illnesses.

(b) Interagency memorandum of understanding.—The Secretary, in collaboration with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall enter into a memorandum of understanding between the agencies within the Department of Agriculture, including those described in subsection (a), and the agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, to ensure the timely and efficient sharing of all information collected by such agencies related to foodborne pathogens, contaminants, and illnesses.

SEC. 9. Public notice regarding recalled food products.

(a) Department.—

(1) NEWS RELEASES REGARDING RECALLED FOOD PRODUCTS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—On the date on which a human or animal food product regulated by the Department is voluntarily recalled, the Secretary shall provide to the public a news release describing the human or animal food product.

(B) CONTENTS.—Each news release described in subparagraph (A) shall contain a comprehensive list of each human and animal food product regulated by the Department that is voluntarily recalled.

(2) WEBSITE.—The Secretary shall modify the website of the Department to contain—

(A) not later than 1 business day after the date on which a human or animal food product regulated by the Department is voluntarily recalled, a news release describing the human or animal food product;

(B) if available, an image of each human and animal food product that is the subject of a news release described in subparagraph (A); and

(C) not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, a search engine that—

(i) is consumer-friendly, as determined by the Secretary; and

(ii) provides a means by which an individual could locate each human and animal food product regulated by the Department that is voluntarily recalled.

(3) STATE-ISSUED AND INDUSTRY PRESS RELEASES.—To meet the requirement under paragraph (1)(A), the Secretary—

(A) may provide to the public a press release issued by a State; and

(B) shall not provide to the public a press release issued by a private industry entity in lieu of a press release issued by the Federal Government or a State.

(4) PROHIBITION ON DELEGATION OF DUTY.—The Secretary may not delegate, by contract or otherwise, the duty of the Secretary—

(A) to provide to the public a news release under paragraph (1); and

(B) to make any required modification to the website of the Department under paragraph (2).

(b) Administration.—

(1) PRESS RELEASES REGARDING RECALLED FOOD PRODUCTS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—On the date on which a human or animal food product regulated by the Administration is voluntarily recalled, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall provide to the public a press release describing the human or animal food product.

(B) CONTENTS.—Each press release described in subparagraph (A) shall contain a comprehensive list of each human and animal food product regulated by the Administration that is voluntarily recalled.

(2) WEBSITE.—The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall modify the website of the Administration to contain—

(A) not later than 1 business day after the date on which a human or animal food product regulated by the Administration is voluntarily recalled a press release describing the human or animal food product;

(B) if available, an image of each human and animal food product that is the subject of a press release described in subparagraph (A); and

(C) not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, a search engine that—

(i) is consumer-friendly, as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services; and

(ii) provides a means by which an individual could locate each human and animal food product regulated by the Administration that is voluntarily recalled.

(3) STATE-ISSUED AND INDUSTRY PRESS RELEASES.—For purposes of meeting the requirement under paragraph (1)(A), the Secretary of Health and Human Services—

(A) may provide to the public a press release issued by a State; and

(B) may not provide to the public a press release issued by a private industry entity in lieu of a press release issued by a State or the Federal Government.

(4) PROHIBITION ON DELEGATION OF DUTY.—The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not delegate, by contract or otherwise, the duty of the Secretary of Health and Human Services—

(A) to provide to the public a press release under paragraph (1); and

(B) to make any required modification to the website of the Administration under paragraph (2).

SEC. 10. Foodborne illness education and outreach competitive grants program.

Title IV of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 is amended by adding after section 412 (7 U.S.C. 7632) the following:

“SEC. 413. Foodborne illness education and outreach competitive grants program.

“(a) Definitions.—In this section:

“(1) ADMINISTRATOR.—The term ‘Administrator’ means the Administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

“(2) COMMISSIONER.—The term ‘Commissioner’ means the Commissioner of Food and Drugs.

“(3) ELIGIBLE ENTITY.—The term ‘eligible entity’ means—

“(A) the government of a State (including a political subdivision of a State);

“(B) an educational institution;

“(C) a private for-profit organization;

“(D) a private non-profit organization; and

“(E) any other appropriate individual or entity, as determined by the Secretary.

“(b) Establishment.—The Secretary (acting through the Administrator of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service), in consultation with the Administrator and the Commissioner, shall establish and administer a competitive grant program to provide grants to eligible entities to enable the eligible entities to carry out educational outreach partnerships and programs to provide to health providers, patients, and consumers information to enable those individuals and entities—

“(1) to recognize—

“(A) foodborne illness as a serious public health issue; and

“(B) each symptom of foodborne illness to ensure the proper treatment of foodborne illness;

“(2) to understand—

“(A) the potential for contamination of human and animal food products during each phase of the production of human and animal food products; and

“(B) the importance of using techniques that help ensure the safe handling of human and animal food products; and

“(3) to assess the risk of foodborne illness to ensure the proper selection by consumers of human and animal food products.

“(c) Authorization of appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $3,500,000 for fiscal year 2009 and each fiscal year thereafter.”.