I don’t feel like getting into the details of a saga with more plots twists than a telenovela; or pontificating at length on a bill that’s already had more analysis than Woody Allen’s neuroses. Suffice to say that the Food Safety Modernization Act passed the Senate in a surprise Sunday vote and is headed back to the House, where it is widely expected to pass (having already passed twice). For the first time in weeks, the bill seems to have a clear pathway to the president’s desk, where it will be signed into law. And, yes, the Tester-Hagan amendment protecting small farms is intact. If you want more detail than that, here’s Food Safety News and The Washington Post.
My quick take on the bill: Small step in the right direction, unlikely to significantly lessen the risks of a food system marked by enormous concentration of production, but also unlikely to damage small players because of the Tester-Hagan protections. For a long and vigorously argued set of perspectives, see our recent Food Fight on the topic.