07/11/2010 - A year after House Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly approved legislation to improve food safety, public health advocates are growing frustrated that the Senate has yet to take up the bill.
A coalition of food safety groups tried to turn up the pressure last week on Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), running newspaper ads in the lawmakers' two states featuring constituents who fell seriously ill from food poisoning. The ads urged Reid and McConnell to move the bill to the Senate floor and pass it.
"Time is short -- there are not a lot of legislative days on the calendar and we're seeing [food] recalls every week," said Erik Olson with the food and consumer product safety programs at Pew Health Group. "There is obviously a lot of interest in making sure folks know this bill has broad public support and that there is really no reason not to move this. It would show that Washington can get something done."
Pew Charitable Trusts released results of a poll conducted in Nevada, where Reid is facing a tough reelection campaign, finding that 71 percent of voters think the Senate should pass the bill.
On Wednesday, President Obama said in a statement that he supported passage of the Senate bill and that it would give the government the tools it needs to ensure food safety.
Read the full article Advocates Run Ads Urging Senate to Pass Food Safety Bill on the Washington Post's Web site.