Fingers Crossed When It Comes to Food Safety

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In case you missed it (and how could you?), the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act passed the Senate yesterday by a huge majority. Thanks to Beth Bainbridge for sending me this link to a map of how the votes went—a graphic, interactive illustration of partisan politics in action.

If you would like to know what the bill really says as opposed to the mythology, you can read a short Summary (PDF), or take a look at the entire bill. And here's FoodSafetyNews on some of those details.

The next steps: (1) reconciliation with the House version passed a year ago July, and (2) submission of the joint version to President Obama for signature. This has to be done before this session of Congress expires in just a few weeks.

By all reports, reconciliation will not be so easy. FoodSafetyNews explains all the things that can derail the bill between now and then, and the list is long and weird (who ever heard of "blue-slipping," for example?).

Some folks are happy about the Senate action, but some most definitely are not. FoodSafetyNews summarizes the reactions, as does the New York Times account.

Time is short. The stakes are high. Keep fingers crossed.


This post also appears on foodpolitics.com.

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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