WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate leaders said Thursday they would not take up the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act before the November elections.
The measure, which would have provided additional resources for the FDA to conduct inspections and expand its powers to oversee food safety, was widely supported by food retailers and others in the industry.
Leslie G. Sarasin, president and chief executive officer, Food Marketing Institute, Arlington, Va., said FMI was "extremely disappointed" in the delay.
"The most important goal of America¹s food retailers and wholesalers is to provide nutritious, safe, high-quality and affordable food," she said. "We believe the focus should be on trying to prevent problems before they occur by providing FDA the necessary resources and authority to help the agency protect our food supply."
In announcing the delay, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., cited Republican opposition to the added funding required for the bill, according to reports. The reports also said Reid could force the bill past the opposition to get a vote, but noted that was time-consuming and unlikely.