Senate Passage of Food Safety Legislation: A Year-End Gift That Will Keep People Healthy, Says American Dietetic Association
Media Contacts: Ryan O'Malley, Allison MacMunn
CHICAGO – The unexpected passage of landmark food safety legislation by unanimous consent by the U.S. Senate late Sunday, December 19, will result in safer foods and a healthier population, according to the American Dietetic Association.
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“The fact that Senators came together unanimously, regardless of political party, to approve the bill is a welcome year-end gift to the American people,” said registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association President Judith C. Rodriguez.
ADA commented on the need for the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act when it was originally passed November 30 by the Senate.
It had been uncertain whether the bill – which expands the authority of the Food and Drug Administration to regulate and recall foods, and which represents the largest change in the country’s food safety laws in more than 70 years – would be considered again before Congress adjourned.
“ADA commends the Senate for its action on Sunday, and we look forward to working with the Food and Drug Administration on developing the rules that will determine how the legislation will be implemented,” Rodriguez said.
The original Senate vote was invalidated because the bill raised revenue; under the Constitution, revenue-generating bills must originate in the House of Representatives. As adjournment of the Congressional session neared, prospects for passing the revised bill seemed to dim with each hour, and the Senate’s passage of the bill caught many by surprise.
The bill now goes back to the House for its approval, then to President Obama for his signature.