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HB 537 - Idaho produce safety law

HB 537 - Idaho produce safety law

Phil Haunschild
February 23, 2018

Bill description: HB 537 would codify procedures for the state Department of Agriculture to follow in order to enforce the federal Food Safety and Modernization Act.

Rating: 0

Does it violate the principles of federalism by increasing federal authority, yielding to federal blandishments, or incorporating changeable federal laws into Idaho statutes or rules? Examples include citing federal code without noting as it is written on a certain date, using state resources to enforce federal law, and refusing to support and uphold the Tenth Amendment. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the principles of federalism? 

The rules and regulations within HB 537 are to be implemented so Idaho is in compliance with the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety and Modernization Act, signed into law in 2011. Per the law, there is increased scrutiny of the food manufacturing industry, along with greater cooperation between the FDA, state agencies, and local governments. The Act requires the federal government to provide funding to state governments to perform inspections of manufacturing facilities.

HB 537 is a prime example of the difficult situation that federal regulations can put state regulators in. By codifying some provisions of the Food Safety and Modernization Act, HB 537 would yield Idaho to federal blandishments as to how to regulate industries within the state of Idaho. HB 537 further binds the state of Idaho to the decisions of Congress and the FDA, and thus surrenders additional state authority.


However, HB 537 would allow the Idaho state Department of Agriculture to administer and enforce the federal act rather than a federal agency. The bill does stipulate that if the federal mandates under the Food Safety and Modernization Act were repealed or no longer funded, then the regulation implemented under this legislation would be disregarded. Additionally, HB 537 specifically states that state regulation is not to be any more restrictive than the standards required by federal law. This would foster a greater level of state control over the regulation of food manufacturers in Idaho.


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