The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee last week approved a food-safety bill that would change the way the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deals with the nation’s food supply.

While the livestock and poultry industries are not covered by the legislation, NPPC has a number of concerns with S. 510, including provisions that impose user fees, allow mandatory recalls, set performance standards and impose civil penalties. The House passed its version of food-safety legislation in July. The bill is expected to move to the Senate floor for a vote soon.

S.510, sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin, (D-Ill.), would allow the secretary of Health and Human Services to order a mandatory recall if a food company fails to voluntarily recall a product that could cause serious health consequences to humans or animals. The bill would increase fees from facilities subject to a re-inspection or food recall.

Senate leadership is striving to take up the health care bill before Christmas. While the timetable for Senate consideration is unclear, it may be pushed into next year.