Washington — The House passed a far-reaching food safety bill Thursday in the wake of the recent outbreak of salmonella in peanuts that killed at least nine people.
The legislation would require more government inspections and oversight of food manufacturers and give the Food and Drug Administration new authority to order recalls. It also would require the FDA to develop a system for better tracing food-borne illnesses, and the government could impose new penalties on those who violate the law. Food companies would be required to create detailed food safety plans.
President Barack Obama praised the bill soon after it was passed, calling it “a major step forward in modernizing our food safety system.”
The House passed the bill 283-142 a day after rejecting it. Farm-state members had argued that the bill would be too invasive on farms and had pushed colleagues to vote against it as it was considered under a special procedure that requires a two-thirds vote. It was rejected by a few votes.
After the bill failed, Democrats scrambled to put the legislation back on the House floor Thursday under a rule that required a simple majority to pass.