"In what would be the biggest overhaul of the nation's food safety laws in seven decades, the Senate on Tuesday approved a raft of regulations that would require food manufacturers and farmers to use scientific techniques to prevent contaminated food - a shift aimed at stopping the waves of foodborne illnesses that have shaken consumer confidence in the safety of the food supply.
The vote of 73 to 25 cleared the way for the legislation to be signed into law in the coming weeks, delivering a revamped safety system that would confer vast new authority on the Food and Drug Administration, accelerate the government's response to outbreaks and set the first safety standards for imported food. The changes come after tainted foods as varied as spinach and peanuts recently sickened thousands nationwide and caused at least a dozen deaths.
'For too long, we've allowed trips to the grocery store to be a gamble for American families,' said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a lead sponsor of the bill. The measure 'will give our citizens some long-overdue peace of mind in the supermarket aisles.'
The legislation drew support across party lines, making it one of the few recent measures to bridge differences in an otherwise sharply divided body..."