Thursday, July 30, 2009

Update: Food safety bill

The House on Wednesday defeated a bill aimed at toughening food safety laws, but there is hope that another will pass before the end of the week. It was six votes short of the needed two-thirds majority needed to pass.

The Washington Post said Democratic leaders were likely to reintroduce the bill Thursday under a special rule, which would require a simple majority for passage.

The bill is strongly supported by the White House and many consumer groups. It would place responsibility on farmers and food processors to prevent contamination before it occurs. The FDA would be required to set safety standards for growing and processing food and increase inspections and enforcement. The agency would be able to mandate the recall of a food if it suspects contamination instead of waiting for the processor to voluntarily call back tainted products.

A Senate version has bipartisan support, the Post said.

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