"The Senate moved forward Wednesday on long-awaited legislation that would overhaul the nation's food safety system, grant new powers to the Food and Drug Administration and make farmers and processors responsible for preventing food-borne illness.
The legislation follows a spate of national outbreaks of food poisoning linked to items as varied as eggs, peanuts and spinach, in which thousands of people were sickened and more than a dozen died.
The Senate voted 74 to 25 to begin debate on the bill, suggesting the measure has strong bipartisan support and good prospects for passage. The House approved its version more than a year ago, and food safety advocates have been pushing the Senate to act so differences between the two measures can be reconciled and the legislation signed into law by President Obama by the end of the lame-duck session.
Debate on the bill is expected to begin Thursday and could last up to 30 hours."