Food Safety Bill Clears Last Hurdles – Heads to President for Signature


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By Consumers Union on Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

As with many bills that Congress is pressed to finalize in these last few days of the 2010 legislative session, it was down to the wire for the food safety bill which has now cleared both chambers and awaits signature by President Obama.

The bill, which had already been passed twice by both the House and the Senate, went into several rounds of overtime due to a procedural glitch in the language which required both houses to vote on it multiple times.

From the Washington Post:

The vote marked the final hurdle for a bill that cleared an unusual number of obstacles, despite enjoying bipartisan support and backing from a wide array of groups across the political spectrum, from Consumers Union to the Chamber of Commerce.
“This is a big victory for consumers that finally brings food-safety laws into the 21st century,” said Jean Halloran of Consumers Union. “This win is a powerful testament to the people across the country who came to Washington to tell their lawmakers how contaminated food had killed their loved ones or left them horribly sick. This win is for them and all Americans.”

The bill, which marks the largest overhaul to food safety regulations in 70 years, increases inspections of food processing facilities, which in some cases are currently inspected only once every ten years.  It also requires imported food to meet the same standards as domestically-produced foods, and gives the FDA the long-overdue authority to mandate the recall of contaminated food products.

Consumers Union applauds Congress for prioritizing the passage of this critical legislation, and issued this statement Tuesday night.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law this week.

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