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IMPORTANT - Food Safety Bill Update

Reprinted from: Copyright National Bison Association, Westminster, CO. Food Safety Bill Stalls Behind Financial Reform The food safety bill pending in the Senate has hit another speed bump. S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, will not be brought to the floor next week, as was widely expected. Instead, the upper chamber will take up financial regulatory reform. National Bison Association Executive Director Dave Carter met with representatives of U.S. Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY) in Washington, D.C. last week to review language in the bill that will protect the bison industry from dual oversight from USDA and the Food and Drug Administration. At that time, the legislation was expected to come to the Senate floor for consideration in the next weeks. For the past several weeks, the plan had been to bring the food safety bill to the floor near the beginning of the current work period, as it has broad, bipartisan support and is expected to pass easily. Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), who introduced S. 510, told reporters yesterday that Democrats had rearranged the schedule and were looking to instead move a financial reform bill late next week. "We should move on financial regulatory reform as soon as it's ready," Durbin said, adding that he had requested a placeholder for food safety legislation on the calendar while the Senate worked on financial regulations. A spokesman for Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, told Food Safety News, "Chairman Harkin believes that passing this bill and modernizing our nation's patchwork system is needed as soon as possible, and he knows that Leader Reid shares that commitment. Clearly, there are a number of urgent priorities to address during this work period, including financial regulatory reform, but Chairman Harkin is confident that the bill will pass the Senate before we adjourn for the Memorial Day recess."

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