On April 26, 2012, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would require federal enforcement agencies to make consumer information regarding food and product recalls more detailed and accessible to the public. The Consumer Food and Product Safety Information Act (H.R. 4759) would require the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, among other agencies, to create a system to advise the public about product recalls, to centrally collect and distribute product safety information, and to create a comprehensive product recall website. Sharing this information would require the distribution of written materials, a toll-free telephone number, and a new product recall website. Additionally, the Bill would place strict reporting requirements on the head of each agency, including monthly national public service announcements and quarterly reports identifying all products recalled in the previous quarter. Most importantly, the information provided must detail the steps consumers should take in response to a product recall.
Passage of this Bill will undoubtedly effect reporting requirements of product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, and clearly impact public relations in the event of a recall.
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