Obama Signs New Food Safety Legislation

President Obama signed into law Tuesday legislation that represents the first major overhaul of the nation’s food-safety infrastructure since 1938, but the presumed incoming Republican chairman of the agriculture subcommittee says he may not fund it. 

The Food Safety Modernization Act moves the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) away from its early-20th-century role of responding to adulterated food to a more modern one of requiring companies to stop contamination before it happens by looking for the places where things can go wrong and fixing them.

It also allows the agency to issue mandatory recalls and hire more food-safety inspectors. The FDA oversees most of the nation’s food supply, except for meat, poultry and processed eggs, which are the purview of the U.S. Dept of Agriculture.

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