By Kurt R. Karst –
Earlier this week, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Food Safety Accountability Act of 2010 (S. 3767). The bill, which follows Sen. Leahy’s Food Safety Enforcement Act of 2010 (S. 3669) introduced earlier this year and the recent egg recall, is intended to strengthen criminal penalties for food safety violators.
S. 3767 would amend Title 18 of the U.S. Code (Chapter 47 – Fraud and False Statements) to add a new section – § 1041 Misbranded and adulterated food – making it unlawful for any person to knowingly: “(1) introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any food that is adulterated or misbranded; or (2) adulterate or misbrand any food in interstate commerce.” A violation of proposed § 1041 would carry with it a fine and/or imprisonment for not more than 10 years. S. 3669 would have amended the FDC Act to impose criminal penalties for persons who knowingly contaminate the food supply.
According to a press release, Sen. Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, has scheduled a Committee business meeting for Thursday, September 16th that will include a discussion of the bill. Continuing concern about the safety of the food supply could increase pressure on Congress to pass food safety legislation that might include at least some version of the Food Safety Accountability Act.