In Sunday-evening surprise, Senate passes ‘food safety’ bill S. 510 [Updated]

Alexander Bolton
The Hill

The Senate unexpectedly approved food safety legislation by voice vote Sunday evening, rescuing a bill that floated in limbo for weeks because of a clerical error.

The Senate passed the Food Safety and Modernization Act on Nov. 30 by a vote of 73-25. But the bill was later invalidated by a technical objection because it was a revenue-raising measure that did not originate in the House — Senate staff had failed to substitute the food safety language into a House-originated bill.

A coalition of groups supporting the bill sent a letter Sunday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) calling for action on food safety.

“Our organizations are writing to support attaching S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, to the Senate’s proposed short-term continuing resolution,” the groups wrote. “Strong food-safety legislation will reduce the risk of contamination and provide FDA with the resources and authorities the agency needs to help make prevention the focus of our food safety strategies.”

The American Public Health Association, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union and other groups signed the letter.

The article continues at The Hill.

H/T Natural Solutions Foundation:

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty…”
“No one’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The betrayal Sunday night of the Health and Food Freedom movement [and the Tea Party, Liberty, Farm/Ranch/Garden groups working with us] by the GOP in passing S.510 back to the House with an unrecorded Unanimous Consent vote is unacceptable. We condemn the GOP for this betrayal.

Our so-called friends in the Senate had assured us they would object to any effort to tack S.510, the fake “food safety” (really, “food control”) bill onto any other legislation in the last couple days of the congressional session. We feel betrayed. We pledge not to forget!


The critical moment is now, during the last couple days before the Holiday recess.

PLEASE USE THE NEW ACTION ITEM…! And Forward It to Your Contacts!

Tell Congress: NO FAKE ‘FOOD SAFETY’ S.510

Update: In November, Sen. Tom Coburn, MD, commented on S. 510 from the Floor. His remarks can be read here.

Update 2: Ed Morrissey at has some thoughts about this latest Republican maneuver:

Chalk one up for the Senate Republicans in the category of “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”  They had Harry Reid on the hook for fouling up a food-safety bill that the Wall Street Journal called a bonanza for big producers.  Instead of forcing the issue to wait for a new Congress and an approach that didn’t impose new costs and regulatory burdens that puts small producers at a disadvantage, the GOP agreed to allow the bill to pass through the Senate last night without any objections

Update 3: Some details included in an email sent today by the Alliance for Natural Health USA (“Emergency Action Alert! Food Safety PASSES the Senate in Shocking Maneuver”):

…Please forward this message to everyone you know who cares about the Food Safety issue, and ask them to take action TODAY, since the bill will almost certainly be voted upon tomorrow, Tuesday 12/21.

Sunday night, in one of the most underhanded and outrageous legislative maneuvers we’ve seen, the Senate passed the language of S. 510, the Food Safety bill, by a unanimous consent agreement. It now goes to the House of Representatives. We have one last chance to stop it!

As we told you last week Democrats first attempted to attach the food safety bill to the short-term spending measure to keep the government running, but Republicans balked because they wanted to keep that measure clean. So last night, the Senate raised it as an amendment to a completely unrelated bill from the House of Representatives—H.R. 2751, the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act! [Emphasis CAJ]

Quite a number of reports, including some from other health organizations, have gotten many of these details wrong. The swift approval by unanimous consent caught some aides and lobbyists working on it by surprise. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) had promised to block the legislation, but lifted his objection at the final moment.

Reid announced he would send the legislation—this time attached to a House-originated measure—back to the lower chamber for final approval. Please contact Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and your own Congressional representative immediately and urge that the Food Safety language be completely stripped from H.R. 2751 the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act!

We believe Pelosi would prefer to bring up Food Safety “under suspension,” which is an expedited House procedure that requires a two-thirds vote to pass.

We need you to urge her in the strongest possible terms to bring it up under regular order—no more expedited deals, no more underhanded maneuvers!

Tell her that the Senate’s passage of this bill at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night doesn’t give the public an opportunity to weigh in—and you don’t want the same thing to happen in the House! Tell her this issue is too vital for you and  your family’s health to allow it to be considered outside of regular protocols!…

Update 4: If this bill were any good, it wouldn’t be so impossible to locate in the usual places for study and information about its progress. One of our credible resources, JoAnneMor’s Blog writes:

It’s no longer the FoodSafetyBill S.510. It’s been added to HR 3082 as Div-M pg 1685, in it’s entirety.


Page 499, the Dream act is hidden too! [Emphasis CAJ. We’re trying to locate the entire bill to verify this claim!]

We’ll try to find some clarity in this asap…

Update 5: Michelle Malkin wrote just before 1 pm today that the DREAM Act is not hidden elsewhere. We’ll continue to watch for this. Meanwhile, we agree with her when she writes:

Be sure to send a special message of thanks to GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions for his stalwart opposition and leadership in stopping another down payment on amnesty.

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