The Bioterrorism Act of 2002

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Protecting the United States from bioterrorism

The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act, commonly known as The Bioterrorism Act of 2002, is designed to protect the U.S. from bioterrorism. 

The law authorizes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take action to protect the nation's food supply against the threat of intentional contamination. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as the food regulatory arm of HHS, is responsible for developing and implementing these food safety measures, including four major regulations.

  • Registration of Food Facilities: Domestic or foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack, distribute, receive, or hold food for consumption by humans or animals in the U.S. must register with the FDA no later than Dec. 12, 2003. 
  • Prior Notice of Imported Food: Beginning Dec. 12, 2003, FDA must receive advance notice of each shipment of food into the U.S.
  • Establishment and Maintenance of Records: Persons that manufacture, process, pack, transport, distribute, receive, hold, or import food will be required to create and maintain records FDA determines are needed to identify the immediate previous sources and the immediate subsequent recipients of food (i.e., where it came from and who received it).
  • Administrative Detention: Authorizes FDA to administratively detain food if the agency has credible evidence or information that the food presents a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. 

For more information

The Bioterrorism Act is posted on FDA's Website.