Inspections and Fees Proposed on Food Imports

The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) reports that Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has proposed legislation which would require inspections and fees on food imports. Noting that the volume of food imports has doubled in the last three years, Durbin said the number of FDA inspectors has been steadily decreasing.

Durbin's proposed legislation would address what he calls one of the biggest obstacles for the FDA-the lack of funding to ensure food safety.

The legislation requires the FDA to collect user fees on imported food products and to use those revenues for inspections and food safety research. Fees would be limited to a maximum of $20 per line items. The FDA would also be required to establish an imported food certification program under which foreign governments and firms would be required to apply for certification.

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