Good News for Those Who Eat

A bill that would overhaul the nation’s food-safety laws for the first time since the Great Depression came roaring back to life Sunday as Senate Democrats struck a deal with Republicans that helped overcome a technical mistake made three weeks ago and a filibuster threat that seemed likely to scuttle the legislation. …

Without notice and in a matter of minutes Sunday evening, the Senate approved the bill by unanimous consent, sending it to the House, where passage is expected. President Obama has said he would sign the legislation, which would give the government far-reaching authority to set and enforce safety standards for farmers and food processors.

It was a last-minute change for the legislation, which seemed all but dead Sunday afternoon.

Food-safety measure passes Senate in Sunday surprise

A tip of the hat to Steve Benen, who says:

This isn’t the year’s sexiest piece of legislation, but it deserves more attention. The bill expands the FDA’s ability to recall tainted foods, increase inspections, demand accountability from food companies, and oversee farming — all in the hopes of cracking down on unsafe food before consumers get sick. This is the first time Congress has approved an overhaul of food-safety laws in 70 years. …

When drawing up lists of major Democratic accomplishments of the last two years, I hope folks won’t forget this one — it’s likely to make a big difference.

The Washington Monthly

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