Frustration over a food safety bill that is stalled in the Senate has prompted infighting among some prominent Democrats.
Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) sent a sharply worded letter Friday to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), accusing her of holding up Senate action on a landmark food safety bill that easily passed the House on a bipartisan vote last July.
"This is the most awesomely frustrating thing I've ever undergone," Dingell said. "Seventy-six million people are sickened by bad food in this country every year, 300,000 go to the hospital and 5,000 die. And the Senate sits on this bill like a hen on an egg."
Dingell wrote the House bill, which would grant vast new authorities to the Food and Drug Administration and mark the first serious reform of food safety laws in 70 years. The measure was headed for easy passage in Senate until the spring, when Feinstein said she wanted to add language that would ban a controversial chemical, bisphenol A or BPA, from food packaging.
Feinstein's BPA proposal won applause from some public health groups but sparked immediate protest from the chemical industry, food manufacturers and major business interests, who pledged to withdraw their support for the bill if it included a ban on BPA.
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Source: Washington Post