WASHINGTON — On Nov. 18, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (H.E.L.P.) Committee passed S. 510, the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) Food Safety Modernization Act, by a voice vote. It was a pro forma session that allowed members to make statements and the bill was reported out of Committee with no votes on amendments.

S. 510 would expand the F.D.A. authority over the food manufacturing industries and give the agency the authority to implement mandatory recalls, increased inspection rates, collection of fees and require all facilities to have a food safety plan, the association explains.

The American Meat Institute plans to work with the H.E.L.P. Committee on the issues of a mandatory recall system that provides for an indemnification provision, science based performance standards with notice and comment by the public and input from the scientific community and providing a burden proof for the government to suspend a facility’s registration, said J. Patrick Boyle, association president and chief executive officer.

"A.M.I. will continue to work with the Senate to ensure the final bill includes microbiological performance standards that are scientifically based and that a process is in place for the indemnification for companies subjected to an overly-broad mandatory recall by F.D.A.," Mr. Boyle said.