Snafu Could Stall Food Safety BillNovember 30th, 2010
Mary Clare Jalonick
A procedural snafu may hold up action on food safety legislation that passed the Senate Tuesday.
The Senate bill contains fees that could be considered tax provisions, which under congressional rules supposed to originate in the House, according to House and Senate aides who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the situation.
House Republicans could call a vote to send the bill back to the Senate for another vote. That could hurt the bill’s chances as Congress rushes to wrap up for the year.
A Senate aide said the problem was caused by a misunderstanding between Senate and House floor staff.
A spokeswoman for Sen. Tom Harkin, the Senate sponsor of the bill, said the senator is confident the two chambers can resolve the issue.
Food Safety Bill Passes Senate — Includes Tester Amendment Protecting Smaller Farmers
S. 510 has passed the Senate with the Tester-Hagen amendment kept in place. The final vote was 73-25 for passage. The bill now moves back to the House for their approval. The House had passed its own food safety bill last year but indications are that they will accept the Senate version.
Ultimately, rules will be written by the FDA to specify how the law will be carried out. It will be critical at that time for public input into that process to ensure protections remain for family farmers, CSA’s, small processors, farmers’ markets and other direct food marketers. The Cornucopia Institute will provide alerts for public comment during the FDA rulemaking process.
CNN has this story on the passage of the food safety bill by the Senate.