Both houses of Congress have enacted the first of at least two bills that are aimed at “reforming” how the FDA oversees and protects our animal and human food supply. President Bush has indicated he would sign the bill.
The 500 page bill, H.R. 3580, mostly detailed human drug and medical device changes, but there were also major provisions for ensuring the safety of pet food and establishing an early warning and surveillance system to identify adulteration of the pet food supply.
In the new law, the FDA is directed to establish ingredient standards and definitions in regards to pet food, processing standards for pet food, and update standards for the labeling of pet food that include nutritional and ingredient information. All this must be done within two years.
Within one year, an early warning and surveillance system to identify adulteration of the pet food supply and illness associated with pet food must be established.
The FDA must establish an Adulterated Food Registry within one year in which companies must report feed, food and pet food adulteration that could cause health risks in humans or animals.
The records in this registry will be maintained for two years and can be subject to FDA inspection.
UPDATE: President Bush has signed the bill into law on Thursday.