S.510 now expected to pass House and be signed into law by Obama before end of 2010.
In a rare sign of bipartisan cooperation, Senate Democrats worked out a last-minute deal with Senate Republican to bring the Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510) "roaring back to life," the Washington Post reports. The Hail Mary pass for food safety came Sunday evening, after a weekend of tense negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat-Nevada) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky). The deal enabled Senators to correct the technical error that had derailed S.510 in the House and ensured that Republicans would not filibuster its passage.
"Without notice and in a matter of minutes Sunday evening, the Senate approved the bill by unanimous consent, sending it to the House, where passage is expected," the Washington Post reports. "President Obama has said he would sign the legislation, which would give the government far-reaching authority to set and enforce safety standards for farmers and food processors."
Among S.510 supporters within the natural, organic and healthy products industry are the Organic Trade Association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition and the Natural Products Association.