S.510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, passed by a vote of 73 to 25 after an amendment to the bill was approved to exempt small farms and producers with less than $500,000 a year in sales from the legislation. Opponents of the bill were concerned that local farmers would go out of business because of the need for expensive food safety plans.
Currently, the FDA is responsible for safeguarding about 80% of the US food supply, but inadequate budgets and limited enforcement authorities have hindered the agency’s ability to prevent outbreaks. It also increases the ability of the FDA to monitor imported foods, as these comprise nearly a fifth of the US food supply.
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