"Washington, D.C. -- An effort to improve the safety of fruits, vegetables and processed foods is running into objections from a broad collection of farm interests, including livestock producers, organic farmers and small-scale growers.
A bill approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee in June would give the Food and Drug Administration more authority over the 80 percent of the food supply the agency is responsible for regulating.
The food administration, which regulates most foods except for meat and poultry, would be required to set safety standards for fruit and vegetable farms and inspect food processors more frequently. The legislation also levies a new $500 fee on all processing facilities to pay for the increased regulation.
But farm groups are raising an array of objections to the bill, and they've gotten a positive reception from some of the same Democrats who have set up roadblocks to the party's initiatives on health care and climate change."
Philip Brasher reports for the Des Moines Register July 26, 2009.