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Hi, I'm Malcolm Woods

I’m the New Media Editor at Outpost, though I’m the old media editor, as well. In both capacities, I read, hear, photograph and write about food. I also eat food pretty regularly, all of which means I spend a lot of time thinking about food in...
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Malcolm Woods

A Hail Mary for the Food Safety Bill

Postscript
Food, Love and Policy By Malcolm Woods on December 20, 2010

In a move reminiscent of a last minute desperation heave into the end zone as time runs out, the Senate Sunday resurrected the star-crossed Food Safety Bill and passed a new version of the bill, sending it to the House for a final reckoning this week.

An earlier version of the bill, S510, passed at the end of November, was unable to generate support in the House because it contained tax provisions, by law the responsibility of the House. That mistake led many observers to think the bill dead, that Congress would be unable to correct and vote on an updated version before adjourning for good for the holidays. But Senate Majority Harry Reid brought the bill back from the dead on Sunday as a stand alone measure. The Senate quietly passed the measure by unanimous consent, sending it to the House. President Barrack Obama has already said he would sign the bill should it reach his desk

The legislation is meant to give the Federal government more authority to intervene in cases of food safety, such as outbreaks of food poisoning, and to bulk up the role of the Food and Drug Administration in overseeing food safety. Organic food growers and small farm advocates  had argued that the reporting and paperwork provisions in the original bill would force many small farmers out of business. The final version included an amendment by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont) that excluded small farms and food producers from many of the regulatory demands set forth in the original bill.

The bill's progress can be followed on the GovTrack Web site.


 

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