Climate change is the current hot issue on Capitol Hill. However, according to produce industry lobbyists and other Capitol Hill sources, food safety legislation could be up for debate as early as this summer. Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy for the United Fresh Produce Association, says headlines make a case for food safety reform.
Lobbyists say the two food safety bills getting the most attention are the Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act from Representative John Dingell, D-Mich., and the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, co-sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin, D-Ill. A similar bill, HR 875, is from Representative Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn. Guenther calls these bill that are on the table major legislative proposals.
Guenther said the challenge for lawmakers is that climate change and energy policy will grab the spotlight before Memorial Day. After that, Guenther said the health care debate may heat up. It is believed that some members of Congress would like to address food safety by the end of May, if possible.