Senate Votes to Beef Up the FDA
Posted on Nov 30, 2010
Here’s one form of big government that even some Republicans on Capitol Hill can apparently embrace: On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill designed to crack down on food regulation practices in the U.S. after recent batches of tainted foodstuffs were unleashed on the public. —KA
The New York Times:
The legislation, which passed by a vote of 73 to 25, would greatly strengthen the Food and Drug Administration, an agency that in recent decades focused more on policing medical products than ensuring the safety of foods. The bill is intended to get the government to crack down on unsafe foods before they harm people rather than after outbreaks occur.
Despite unusual bipartisan support on Capitol Hill and a strong push from the Obama administration, the bill could still die because there might not be enough time for the usual haggling between the Senate and House of Representatives, which passed its own version last year. Top House Democrats said that they would consider simply passing the Senate version to speed approval.
Both versions of the bill would grant the F.D.A. new powers to recall tainted foods, increase inspections, demand accountability from food companies and oversee farming. But neither version would consolidate overlapping functions at the Department of Agriculture and nearly a dozen other federal agencies that oversee various aspects of food safety, making coordination among the agencies a continuing challenge.
Flickr / avlxyz (CC-BY-SA)
Eggs were the culprit in the latest round of food gone bad in the U.S.