business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a series of proposals, as mandated by food safety legislation passed by Congress and signed into law in 2010, that will require imported foods to meet US safety standards.

"Under the proposed rules," the story says, "domestic importers would have to vouch for the food-safety practices of their overseas suppliers. The rules also aim to improve the consistency and transparency of foreign food-safety audits, which many companies rely on to ensure the quality of their international supply chains."

The story goes on: "The rules are intended to leverage the agency’s limited resources by creating a set of standards and relying on U.S. companies and foreign governments to ensure that overseas importers abide by them.

"If adopted, they would create a 'foreign supplier verification program,' in which U.S. companies would have clear legal responsibility for making sure their overseas suppliers meet U.S. safety standards. They also would establish a system in which the FDA could authorize foreign governments and private companies to accredit third-party auditors who could inspect overseas manufacturers that have a troubled history or whose products are deemed 'high risk'."

There will be a four-month period during which the public can comment on the proposals. However, the Post notes that it remains up in the air whether the FDA will even get the funding it needs from an often deadlocked US Congress to implement these rules changes.
KC's View:
So let me get this straight. The Congress passes and the President signs a law back in 2010 designed to do such things as make sure that imported foods meet US standards, it takes three years to just get proposals on the table, and now there's a possibility that even if the proposals become actual rules, the FDA may not have enough money to implement them?

Do I have this right? (And these are proposals that seem to have a lot of support in the private sector, if I'm reading the various press releases correctly.)

Only in America.