FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Imposes New Requirements on Imported Food

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On January 4, 2011, President Obama signed into law the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) (FSMA), which amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FDC Act). The FSMA shifts the focus of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from reacting to outbreaks to preventing them by (1) augmenting FDA’s ability to require food manufacturers to employ protective food safety systems and enhancing FDA’s ability to police those systems; (2) improving FDA’s ability to detect and respond to food safety “problems;” and (3) helping to better assure the safety of imported food.

To accomplish its aim of ensuring food safety, the FSMA imposes significant requirements on both FDA and all food manufacturers and suppliers. Because the requirements of the FSMA apply to almost all food manufacturers, the impact on importers of food will be significant as well.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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