-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A new rule to protect
the nation's food supply from terrorism has been introduced by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency announced Friday.
The proposed rule would require the largest food businesses in
the United States and in other nations to take steps to protect
facilities from attempts to contaminate the food supply.
The FDA said it does not know of any cases where the food supply
was intentionally tainted with the aim of inflicting widespread
harm, and added that such events are unlikely to occur. However,
the new rule is a preventive measure that would help ensure the
safety of the food supply.
"The goal is to protect the food supply from those who may attempt to cause large-scale public health harm," Michael Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, said in an agency news release.
"Such events, while unlikely to occur, must be taken seriously because they have the potential to cause serious public health and economic consequences. The FDA's goal is to devise an approach that effectively protects the food supply in a practical, cost-effective manner," he explained.
The proposed rule is the sixth issued this year by the FDA under
the Food Safety Modernization Act, which is meant to improve the
safety of foods made in the United States and those imported into
Under the proposed rule, food facilities would be required to
have written food defense plans to correct major security
weaknesses in their food production processes.
Staggered implementation dates for the rule would be based on
business size, and range from one year to three years after the
rule in finalized, the FDA said. The proposed rule is open to
public comment until March 31, 2014.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about
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