Obama signs Food Safety Bill
President Barack Obama signed into law Jan. 4 a food safety bill that dramatically increases the authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to protect the nation’s food supply. The bill expands the Food and Drug Administration’s authority to initiate recalls and allows the FDA to increase inspections of both domestic food processing and food imports. Producers of all foods would have to engage in the type of planning and record-keeping now required of meat processing plants. The bill’s passage was imperiled during the pre-Christmas lame-duck session of Congress, but a last-minute maneuver saved it. Leaders of the new Republican-majority House, however, have vowed to attack the bill by depriving it of funding.