The Senate passed the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization by a 73-25 vote earlier today. The House is expected to approve the Senate version of the bill with no changes and President Barack Obama is expected to sign the measure.
The Senate legislation would:
—Allow the FDA to order a recall of tainted foods. Currently the agency can only negotiate with businesses to order voluntary recalls;
—Require larger food processors and manufacturers to register with the Food and Drug Administration and create detailed food safety plans;
—Require the FDA to create new produce safety regulations for producers of the highest-risk fruits and vegetables;
—Establish stricter standards for the safety of imported food;
—Increase inspections of domestic and foreign food facilities, directing the most resources to those operations with the highest risk profiles.
The bill would not apply to meat, poultry or processed eggs, which are regulated by the Agriculture Department. Those foods have long been subject to much more rigorous inspections and oversight than FDA-regulated foods.