Whether red state or blue, you have to eat. It's an obvious truth that seems to have propelled one of the few pieces of bipartisan legislation through both houses of this Congress: the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Coming after tainted foods have sickened thousands of Americans in recent years, the bill gives the Food and Drug Administration far more muscle to prevent bad foods from reaching our supermarkets and restaurants, rather than just react once something goes terribly wrong.
It puts ``food'' back where it belongs: on the front burner of the FDA, which has focused more closely on the ``drug'' part of its mission to protect our health and well-being. The bill would:
Increase the number of food-processing plant inspections.
Give the FDA more control over imported food, increasing inspections of foreign processing plants and letting the agency set standards for how fruits and vegetables are grown abroad.
Give the FDA the authority to demand immediate food recalls.
Make companies develop plans for manufacturing food safely and making them accountable for carrying out those plans.
The Senate passed this major food-safety overhaul by a 73-25 vote. That's a healthy -- and refreshingly bipartisan -- majority of lawmakers addressing the preventable damage done by tainted peanut butter, spinach and eggs.
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