RealNews

Food Supply Security Law Takes Effect

Law Aimed at Protecting U.S. Food Supply Takes Effect; Some Exporters Fear Delays. Indian pigeon peas, Mexican cilantro, Turkish laurel leaves any food headed for the American market will be more closely examined as of Friday under new rules to thwart bioterrorists. Under the Bioterrorism Act, the U.S. government requires 400,000 food handling companies at home and abroad to register all products with the Food and Drug Administration. While the new regulations affect both imported and domestic food, foreign exporters fear they will be hit the hardest. Many say it could drive them out of the U.S. market, although some hope the new law will expedite trade. The law requires those exporting food to the United States to give American inspectors advance notice before shipments arrive two hours for those crossing the border by truck, four hours for those on planes or trains, and eight if landing by ship. Although there has not been a terrorist attack on the U.S. food supply, Americans have been hit by an anthrax scare and FDA officials believe green onions that originated in Mexico infected hundreds of U.S. residents with hepatitis. The FDA said that as of Wednesday, two days before the new regulations were put in place, nearly 131,000 food handling companies had registered about 68,000 of which were outside of the United States. Full Story

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