US bill proposes beefed-up FDA

Businesses to face more safety inspections and higher costs

A new bill introduced by Democrats on the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee proposes that food businesses, both domestic and foreign, undergo mandatory Food and Drug Administration inspections every four years. At present, inspections are carried out at the FDA's discretion.

With the FDA's resources already stretched, the bill also proposes that the companies undergoing inspections pay for them. The legislation also gives the FDA added authority, including the power to order mandatory recalls of tainted food.

The bill was introduced during January's salmonella outbreak, which was linked to peanut butter. Hundreds of people across the US and Canada fell ill during the outbreak. The legislation also suggests mandatory inspections for drug suppliers every two years.

"Americans shouldn't have to worry about whether the food they serve their families and the medical products they use to improve their health might actually make them sick," said Michigan Representative John Dingell.

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