"A bill giving federal regulators broad new powers over food safety passed the Senate on Tuesday, marking the first big response in Congress to contamination scares in recent years.
The measure, which cleared the Senate on a 73-25 vote, would give the Food and Drug Administration the power to order food recalls, which are currently voluntary. It would also give the FDA more authority to track fruit and vegetable shipments, and would mandate that producers write safety plans.
Lawmakers said they expected the House to pass the Senate version of the bill and send it to President Barack Obama for his signature, but the tight schedule of Congress's lame-duck session means final passage isn't a sure thing.
Proponents say the bill would bring faster responses to contamination outbreaks and mean fewer safety blowups..."