Friday, December 3, 2010

A Busy Week in Washington for Food Politics

This week was Food Week in Washington.

Unfortunately, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which enjoyed bipartisan (!) support when the Senate passed its version of the bill on Tuesday, may be in serious jeopardy because of a constitutional error.

According to an article in Food Safety News:
[T]he Senate made a potentially critical error by including a provision that would allow the FDA to impose fees on importers, and on companies whose food is recalled because of contamination.

Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution says all revenue-raising measures must originate in the House. This error will almost certainly mean that the legislation will have to be reconsidered in the Senate, a major setback considering the precious floor time it could take to jump though the necessary procedural hoops: namely circumventing Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-OK) filibuster threat.
There was good news yesterday, though, as the House passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which will translate into better school lunches for our children.

The bill, sure to be signed into law by President Obama, is far from perfect, but the move away from processed, nutrient-poor foods is a major step in the right direction.

To read more about the child nutrition bill, click here.

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