11/30/2010 - The Senate passed legislation Tuesday to make food safer in the wake of deadly E. coli and salmonella outbreaks, potentially giving the government broad new powers to increase inspections of food processing facilities and force companies to recall tainted food.
The $1.4 billion bill, which would also place stricter standards on imported foods, passed the Senate 73-25. Supporters say passage is critical after widespread outbreaks in peanuts, eggs and produce.
Erik Olson, director of food and consumer product safety at the Pew Health Group, said advocates are pleased with the Senate bill and realize there is not enough time to push for some of the stronger House provisions.
"We think the Senate bill is a major step forward for public health," he said.
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