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FDA to impose new food security rules

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WASHINGTON, Oct 10, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced new rules designed to increase the security of the nation's food supply under the Bioterrorism Act of 2002.

The rules impose registration and tracking requirements to help the government find food that could be contaminated.

Starting Dec. 12, the FDA must be told in advance of food shipments arriving in the United States -- about 25,000 a day. Also, about 420,000 foreign and domestic facilities that handle food will have to register with the agency, providing data about their locations and the types of food they handle.

The registration requirement will give the FDA its first comprehensive list of facilities that handle food for human or animal consumption in the United States.

Health and Human Services Department Secretary Tommy Thompson said: "By requiring advance notice for imported food shipments and registering domestic and foreign food facilities, we are providing critical new tools for the FDA to identify potentially dangerous foods and better keep our food supply safe and secure. These new requirements represent the latest steps in our ongoing efforts to respond to new threats and improve the safety of all the foods that we eat in this country."

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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