A Strong FDA Benefits the Economy

Contrary to the recent claims of many House Republicans, regulation can actually be of great benefit to the U.S. economy, as OMB Watch discussed in the latest issue of our newsletter, The Watcher. One place where that is especially true is at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where regulators ensure not only safe and healthy food and medical products but also provide stability and predictability for the industries they oversee.

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President Obama Signs Landmark Food Safety Bill

This afternoon, President Obama signed into law the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, a major overhaul of food safety law and regulation. Consumer and food safety advocates are calling it a historic day. “This is the most important food safety advance in 70 years,” said Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest:

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Big Helping of Parliamentary Trickery Keeps Food Safety Bill Alive

The U.S. Senate approved, for the second time, a bill to overhaul the food safety system in the U.S. by expanding the powers of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Late Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid struck a deal with both Republicans and House leaders, dodging a filibuster and allowing the bill to pass through a parliamentary maneuver. The bill was approved by voice vote.

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Obama's Regulatory Enforcement Shows That Government Can Play a Positive Role

In its first two years, the Obama administration stepped up the enforcement of rules meant to protect the environment, workers, and consumers, according to a new OMB Watch report. This activity is a welcome development after years of regulatory negligence that likely played a part in the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history and the most fatal coal mine disaster in 40 years.

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More Fuel for the Food Safety Reform Fire

One in six Americans are sickened by their food each year, according to new statistics released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “About 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases.” The news marks the first time since 1999 that CDC has done a comprehensive update of its statistics.

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Congress Debates Multitude of Options for FY 2011 Budget and Food Safety

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with the FY2011 budget, what with all the hullabaloo over deficit reports and the Bush tax cuts. But with the current continuing resolution (CR) set to expire on Saturday, Dec 18, and Congress planning to adjourn at the same time, we’re coming down to the wire. Almost three months after the start of the 2011 fiscal year, Congress is finally making some progress with passing a budget, but is faced with three options: an omnibus bill combining all twelve spending bills into one big bill, a full-year CR, or a short-term CR.

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Legislative Blunder May Spoil Food Safety Bill

As The Fine Print covered on Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill that would expand the powers of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and better protect Americans from unsafe food. Or did they?

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Check Sky for Pigs, Senate Passes Food Safety Bill

After a long and frustrating journey, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act cleared the Senate today in a bipartisan 73-25 vote.

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Senate Closing in on Food Safety Reform

The Senate moved one step closer today to passing S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. The bill would expand the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by giving the agency the power to order recalls of contaminated foods, among other powers.

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One Year Later, Catfish Safety Rule Still at OIRA

The advocacy group Food & Water Watch is blasting the Obama administration over the delay in the creation of a program to conduct mandatory safety inspections of catfish. Over a year ago, Nov. 13, 2009, the UDSA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) submitted to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) a draft proposed rule laying out the details of the program. The White House has yet to approve the proposal.

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