U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan both voted to pass a landmark food safety bill in the Senate this morning, staff writer Barb Barrett reports.
The bill is the largest overhaul of food safety regulations in more than 70 years, and both North Carolina senators made the news in the months-long debate over the legislation, called the FDA Food Safety Enhancement Act, or S510.
Burr, a Winston-Salem Republican, is a co-sponsor of the bill. He drew attention recently when he opposed an amendment by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California that would have banned bisphenol A, or BPA, in baby bottles and sippy cups.
Feinstein cited Burr by name as one of the senators blocking her amendment. It was not included in the final bill.
Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat, co-sponsored the Tester-Hagan amendment that exempts small farms from federal oversight. The amendment requires farms and food processing facilities with less than $500,000 in annual sales to submit to state and local regulation.
A food-borne outbreak traced to a small farm would remove the exemption and bring in federal oversight.
The bill passed 73-25. It now goes to the House for passage.