A Senate aide believes the problem with the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act can be corrected during the coming week. According to the aide there are a few different options, suggesting the most likely solution was to attach the Senate language as an amendment to a House bill. Once cleared by the House, the package would go to the Senate for a final vote.
An aide to Senate Health Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, says they are confident they can work with House colleagues to find a path forward and get this bill to the President before the end of the year. Senator Harkin is a sponsor of the bill, which would be the largest change in food safety rules since the 1930s.
The United Fresh Produce Association says there is now an opportunity to fix discrepancies between the two versions of the bill. It objected particularly to Senate language allowing a softer regulatory hand for small farmers and processors who sold food directly to nearby customers. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association says food regulations should be uniform no matter the size of the producing entity.