Senate Food Safety Bill

Senate Democrats are working on an agreement with Republicans that they hope will allow the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 (S. 510) to reach the Senate floor for debate in September, according to a Senate staffer familiar with the discussion.

On August 13, a bipartisan group of six senators released a manager’s package and Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill, bringing it one step closer to floor debate after the Senate reconvenes following its August recess.

The six are Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; ranking member Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; bill authors Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Judd Gregg, R-N.H.; and lead co-sponsors Chris Dodd, D-Conn.; and Richard Burr, R-N.C.

Not in the manager’s package: Senator Dianne Feinstein’s, D-Calif., amendment to the bill, which would ban the use of the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) in food packaging. Research has raised concerns about the safety of BPA. According to a statement, Feinstein plans to introduce an amendment during floor discussion that would ban the chemical from use in baby bottles, sippy cups, baby food, and infant formula containers. “BPA is linked to problems with brain and reproductive development in fetuses, infants, and children. It is critical we act now to protect the most vulnerable, our infants and toddlers, from this harmful chemical,” she said in the statement.

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