The legislation passed by a vote of 73 to 25.

The US Senate passed S.510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, introduced March 3, 2009 and sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin. The bill passed by a vote of 73 to 25 with two not voting on Tuesday, November 30, 2010.

The bill will give the US FDA a greater ability to safeguard the nation’s food supply system, and it will provide FDA with the ability to order mandatory food recalls as well as require food facilities to put food safety plans in place.

The bill includes the Tester-Hagan amendment that exempts small farmers and processors who sell directly to consumers and end users from FDA regulation due to their direct relationship with their customers. However, small farmers and processors must still meet all local and state food safety requirements. A small producer is defined as having annual gross sales less that $500,000.

The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill in July 2009. The two bills must go through Conference Committee before it can be signed into law by President Obama.