First Lady Michelle Obama joined America’s largest grocery chain, Walmart, Thursday to announce that the Fortune 500 company has a five-year plan to increase healthy food offerings, reduce fresh produce prices, and improve access to affordable food, a move intended to complement Mrs. Obama’s campaign to combat childhood obesity. Read more
President Obama signed a sweeping food safety bill into law today, marking the end of a lengthy legislative drama and turning the focus to whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will get the additional funding needed to implement the bill. Read more
Ending a dramatic months-long legislative limbo, the House approved major food safety legislation 215-144 Tuesday. The FDA Food Safety Modernization act, the first significant reform of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s oversight over the food supply since 1938, is expected to be signed by President Obama before Christmas.
The legislation survived a near-fatal constitutional snafu, fierce debate over controversial amendments, filibuster threats, and managed to gain ground amidst a jam-packed legislative agenda in one of the most productive Congresses in recent history. In the last 18 months, food safety legislation cleared the Senate twice and the House three times. Read more
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new, lower estimate of the overall public health burden of foodborne illness in the United States. CDC now says food poisoning sickens 1 in 6 Americans each year, not 1 in 4 as the agency had estimated in 1999. Read more
The Senate took a key vote on a high profile deal to extend the Bush-era tax cuts Monday, a move that could clear the way for the food safety bill to be considered later this week. Read more
In a rare demonstration of bipartisanship, the Senate passed the most sweeping food safety reform bill in seven decades Tuesday morning. Despite high tempers in the wake of a contentious cycle, the upper chamber voted 73-25 vote to approve S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, a bill that would increase the Food and Drug Administration’s fractured oversight of an increasingly globalized food supply. Read more
The Senate food safety bill, which has been inching towards passage the past few weeks, cleared a key procedural hurdle Monday, but Senate leaders put off two votes on amendments and the final vote on the bill to Tuesday morning. Read more
After a long day of debating–and waiting–Thursday, the Senate was at impasse over the details and politics surrounding the food safety bill.
Though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said earlier this week he would, if necessary, keep the Senate in town over the weekend to finish the bill, sources on the Hill said it was more likely the legislation would not move forward until after Thanksgiving recess, which begins Monday. Read more
The Senate made substantial progress on the pending Food Safety Bill Wednesday. To move the sweeping food bill forward, the upper chamber voted 74-25 to limit debate, circumventing Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) objection. And key stakeholders resolved the two controversial issues that have plagued the bill: bisphenol A and small farm exemptions. Read more
As the Senate gears up to vote on a motion to limit debate and move the pending food safety bill forward today, interest groups are kicking into high gear to lobby for and against key amendments. Read more