The U.S. Senate, by a vote of 74-25, agreed on Wednesday to limit debate and to proceed to discussion of S. 510, the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act. Fifteen Republicans voted to end the filibuster, while one Democrat voted against the motion. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) yesterday announced plans to hold a series of final votes on the bill when the Senate returns from the Thanksgiving holiday on November 29.
Two additional actions also helped to move the bill forward. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) withdrew her controversial amendment regarding the use of Bisphenol A, a compound used to make plastic and resins, and a compromise agreement was reached on Senator Jon Tester's (D-MT) amendment to exempt small farms.
The bill was originally introduced in March 2009 by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). In September of this year, a compromise package of changes was introduced by a bipartisan group of senators. The bill would enhance the powers of the FDA and recognize the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) as a dairy inspection standard. IDFA, along with the National Milk Producers Federation, wrote a letter to congressional leaders in September supporting passage of the bill.
"If senators can resolve a few remaining issues and pass the bill, it is likely to be passed as is by the House of Representatives and sent to the President for his signature," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy.
Members with questions may Slominski at (202) 220-3512 or email@example.com.