WASHINGTON - A Senate committee passed legislation on Wednesday that would increase government oversight of the U.S. food supply, which has been battered by a series of high-profile recalls that have soured consumer confidence in the food safety system.
The bill would expand U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversight of the food supply by giving it the power to order recalls, increase inspection rates and require all facilities to have a food safety plan in place.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved the legislation unanimously by a voice vote.
"There are very few things that are as important as ensuring that the food we eat and the food we serve our families is safe for consumption," said Sen. Christopher Dodd.
The Senate bill is similar to legislation passed by the House in July. Tom Harkin, chairman of the committee, told reporters the timetable for getting food safety passed in the Senate hinges on the progress of the healthcare bill
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