Senate Passes Food Safety Bill

I’ve received several e-mails today regarding the Senate’s passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Printed below is Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s press release on the matter.

Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, cosponsor and one of the leading voices in support of the Food Safety Modernization Act, announced the passage of this bipartisan legislation in the Senate.  The bill will strengthen the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority to ensure a safer food supply and help prevent any contaminated food from reaching consumers. 

The legislation includes a provision authored by Klobuchar that will improve food safety surveillance and is modeled after the success of the Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and the University of Minnesota.  The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 73 to 25, and it will now be sent to the House of Representatives for final passage. 

“The first responsibility of government is to protect its citizens,” Klobuchar said. “Ensuring a rapid response to outbreaks of contaminated food is critical to maintaining public trust in our food supply.  This bill will make necessary changes to help keep consumers safe, and I look forward to passage in the House and the bill being signed into law.”

The Food Safety Modernization Act will overhaul our food safety system and strengthen our capacity to detect and respond to foodborne illness outbreaks.  The bill will increase FDA inspections at all food facilities and will give the FDA the authority to order a mandatory recall of contaminated food products.

Klobuchar has led the effort to reform the nation’s food safety system, and this bill includes a bipartisan provision, introduced by Klobuchar and Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), which will improve federal, state, and local officials’ ability to investigate outbreaks.  The provision will promote a more rapid and effective national response to outbreaks of foodborne sickness.

The legislation has received support from numerous food industries in Minnesota as well as the Consumer Federation of America, the American Feed Industry Association, the American Spice Trade Association, the American Frozen Food Institute, the Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

1 Response

  1. Bob Krengel

    While the Senator is quick to send out promotional accomplishments, the bill has a flaw which should make the Senator a little embarrassed. “Section 107 of the bill includes a set of fees that are classified as revenue raisers, which are technically taxes under the Constitution.” As a long ago student of government, one is reminded all revenue raising must be initiated in the House of Representatives. The section has ruffled the feathers of the House Ways and Means Committee Democrats, who are expected to use the blue slip process to block completion of the bill.

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