Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Food Safety Modernization Act

The Food Safety Modernization Act, or S.510, passed the Senate yesterday. The bill will attempt to force food manufacturers to stop food safety issues (such as the egg, spinach and peanut butter recalls we've had) before they occur by requiring the manufactures to have a "food safety plan" and by empowering the FDA, reports the New York Times and Food Safety News.

Senator Coburn (R-Oklahoma) opposes the bill fiercely, arguing that it would increase the price of food. The foodie world has been buzzing about this bill, with many afraid it would put overwhelming pressures on small farms. But Senator Tester (D- Montana) was able to tack on an amendment that allows producers that sell under $500,000 annually and sell most produce locally to be exempt from the legislation. Famous foodies Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser backed the amendment, saying it would make the bill "even more effective". (The rest of the amendments to make up the Senate approved Manager's amendment can be found here.)

The bill is now floundering in the House due to an error over a "set of fees" that are technically taxes and thus must originate in the House, not the Senate. Follow updates of the bill on Food Safety New's twitter.

Update: Click here for a great video explaining more about the bill, thanks to one of our readers!

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad it's been confirmed that we DO have readers!