Update: H.R. 2749 – Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 passed the House. [Full Text / Summary ]
The House of Representatives on Thursday approved a wide-ranging food-safety bill by a 283-142 margin.
The 159-page Food Safety Enhancement Act could affect every facet of the nation’s food supply chain, from farm to grocery store.
The Senate is working to pass its own version, but extended debate could delay the process. House and Senate negotiators would then have to work out their differences.
[Click to continue reading Food safety: House passes bill that would affect most facets of supply chain — chicagotribune.com]
Who backs the bill? Well, for starters:
“We commend the House for passing legislation that will strengthen food safety in America. Most important, it focuses on systems to prevent breaches in food safety to protect consumers,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and chief executive officer, Food Marketing Institute. “We urge the Senate to approve companion legislation quickly so the industry and government can take the actions required to enhance our nation’s food safety system.”
Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO, Grocery Manufacturers Assocaition, said GMA supports many aspects of H.R. 2749. “This legislation will strengthen our nation’s food safety net by placing prevention as the cornerstone of our nation’s food safety strategy and providing FDA with the resources and authorities it needs to adequately fulfill its food safety mission,” she said. “Combined with increased industry resources and vigilance, this legislation represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to modernize our food safety system and restore t
[Click to continue reading House Passes Food Safety Bill on Second Vote]
The United Fresh Produce Association supports the bill. The American Farm Bureau Federation, the USA Rice Federation and the National Pork Producers Council likewise have either dropped their previous opposition or now support the bill outright.
And what exactly does the bill attempt to do?
It raises money, boosts inspections and empowers the federal Food and Drug Administration.
The legislation assesses new $500-a-year fees on food processors and other facilities that must register every year; the fee would increase annually with inflation. These levies will raise about $1.5 billion over five years and combine with an estimated $2 billion provided by Congress.
The money, in part, will pay for inspections and monitoring of about 360,000 domestic and foreign food facilities. The FDA also gains new clout, including subpoena power, mandatory food recall authority and the ability to impose a regional quarantine if officials have a “reasonable belief” that there’s a risk of death or serious illness.
The Food Safety Enhancement Act we mentioned yesterday failed, but isn’t quite dead yet.
The U.S. House rejected a bill to overhaul the nation’s food-safety laws amid complaints from Republicans that they weren’t given enough time to read the measure.
The legislation, which would give regulators more power to enforce tougher safety standards, fell seven votes short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage. The vote was 280 in favor of the bill, 150 against it.
The measure needed two-thirds support because it was considered under expedited procedures that bar amendments and limit debate to 40 minutes.
Democrats will bring up the bill again tomorrow under regular procedures requiring a simple majority for passage, said Katie Grant, a spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat.
[Click to continue reading Measure to Overhaul Food-Safety Laws Fails in House (Update1) – Bloomberg.com]
I’m not sure why it was introduced under the expedited procedure, why not treat it as normal legislation?
You know conservatives like Frank Lucas are never going to support any such bill, why not just ignore them?
Representative Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Agriculture Committee, said the measure would add hundreds of millions of dollars in fees and taxes and burdensome regulations that “will increase the cost of food for consumers” and drive producers overseas.