House Passes Food Safety Bill, Sends Measure to President

The House has passed a sweeping bill aimed at making food safer following recent outbreaks in peanuts, eggs and produce, sending it to President Obama for his signature.

The legislation passed Tuesday would give the government broad new powers to inspect processing plants, order recalls and impose stricter standards for imported foods.

The food safety bill has faced several false starts since the House first passed it in July 2009. Most recently, the Senate passed the bill in November, including tax provisions that were supposed to originate in the House under the constitution, threatening completion of the bill.

Democratic leader Harry Reid gave the legislation a last-minute, surprise reprieve Sunday by working with Republicans to pass a standalone food safety bill by voice vote, sending it to the House.