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House Passes Food Safety Bill

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A bill to strengthen food safety in the United States was passed late Thursday by a House vote of 283-142, a day after the bill had been rejected by a few votes.

Under the legislation, food manufacturers would be subject to more government inspections and oversight, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would have new powers to order recalls, the Associated Press reported.

In addition, the FDA would have to develop a system for better tracing food-borne illnesses; there would be new penalties for violations, and food companies would have to create detailed food safety plans.

In rejecting the bill on Wednesday, House members from farm states argued the bill was too invasive on farms. The bill was defeated by a few votes in a special procedure that required a two-thirds majority, the AP reported. When the bill was reintroduced Thursday, it required a simple majority to pass.

A similar bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

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