Food Safety Reform - As the 111th Congress comes to a close, comprehensive food safety reform remains unfinished due to Senate inaction resulting from member objections to the August manager's amendment to S. 510. In July 2009, the House passed similar legislation, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, authored by Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), but the similar Senate bill never reached the floor as a result of unresolved member concerns regarding funding for FDA's additional responsibilities, small farm exemptions and the banning of bisphenol A. There is some speculation that food safety reform could reach the Senate floor during the lame duck session; however, should the Senate not pass S. 510 later this year, food safety House and Senate leaders and industry and consumer stakeholders will have to begin this reform effort anew in the 112th Congress. Food safety reform enjoyed bipartisan support in the House and Senate in the 111th Congress, so the outcome of this year's election cycle is likely to impact the success and priority of food safety reform in the next Congress. As this legislation presently awaits Senate action, industry should be advised that FDA could utilize existing authorities to effectively begin implementation of some of the principles of food safety reform in the House and Senate bills. This includes increasing the frequency of facility inspections, given the agency's current inspection authority is silent on the schedule of inspections and their frequency. Moreover, the President's Food Safety Working Group (PFSWG) directed in August 2009 for FDA to issue draft guidance on steps industry can take to establish product tracing systems. The PFSWG directed FDA to issue this document within three months of the announcement of the working group's recommendations, but FDA continues to grapple with the design of an effective product tracing system and no draft guidance has been issued to date. However, FDA could move forward at any time with issuance of a draft guidance document on effective product tracing systems for industry containing best practices for the design and implementation of tracing systems. Industry should monitor for these actions as signals that FDA is moving forward with its own food safety reform agenda under its existing authorities.