Food Safety Bill Survives

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In an unanticipated turn of events, the Senate managed to pass the Food Safety and Modernization Act on Sunday with bipartisan support. The bill puts stricter safety standards on imported food, and requires larger producers to follow tougher rules. It also introduces provisions designed to prevent outbreaks of diseases like E.coli and salmonella.

“Families in Nevada and across America should never have to worry about whether the food they put on their table is safe,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a statement. “Tonight we unanimously passed a measure to improve on our current food safety system by giving the FDA the resources it needs to keep up with advances in food production and marketing, without unduly burdening farmers and food producers.”

The battle to get this legislation passed has been a long, frustrating, and sometimes hamfisted one. As Mother Jones‘ Stephanie Mencimer wrote last week, Congress had originally passed the bill earlier this month. But the next day, it turned out that senators had accidentally included tax provisions in the bill, which must originate in the House. That rendered the measure unconstitutional. And an attempt to include it as part of the Senate omnibus spending bill died last week along with the rest of the bill $1.1 trillion, earmark-loaded wish list.

Food saftey advocates and Hillwatchers were all-but-certain that the bill’s passage was a lost cause. Its fate now rests in the hands of the House, where it will return this week.
 

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In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

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