On Sunday, the Senate passed the food safety bill by unanimous consent. The bill now goes to the House where passage is expected this week. President Obama has pledged to sign the bill. The bill will overhaul the nation’s food safety laws for the first time since the Great Depression.
The Senate originally approved food safety legislation last month, but it became a victim of congressional pingpong because of congressional rules that all funding measures must begin in the Senate. The technicality was corrected, and the bill will likely be signed into law this year.
The measure would require manufacturers and some farmers to take steps to prevent food contamination and to continually test to make sure it is working. It also would give the Food and Drug Administration new authority to recall food. The measure is expected to cost $1.4 billion over the next four years; this includes the expense of hiring 2,000 new FDA inspectors.
Kelli Ludlum, AFBF food safety specialist, said the legislation won’t impact most farmers and ranchers.