House folds food safety reform into budget bill
The US House of Representatives has folded the Food Safety Modernisation Bill into a spending bill to fund the US government.
The House passed the spending bill by a 212-206 margin on Wednesday (8 December) and the Senate is expected to consider it over the next few days.
The Food Safety Modernisation Act will give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) increased powers to order food recalls and increase inspections of food processing facilities.
The new legislation will increase the number of inspections at food facilities, with inspections every three years for high risk foods as well as allowing the FDA to create new standards in the safety of fresh produce, collect fees for non-compliance with recalls or re-inspections.
The bill was threatened by a procedural issue last week, when concerns arose that the version passed by the Senate may have violated a constitutional provision that calls for any new taxes to originate in the House, rather than the Senate.
The House passed a more stringent version of the law over a year ago.
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