News / USA

Obama to Sign Food Safety Overhaul

President Barack Obama, with first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia, 12, left, and Sasha, 9, right, return to the White House in Washington, 4 Jan 2011
President Barack Obama, with first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia, 12, left, and Sasha, 9, right, return to the White House in Washington, 4 Jan 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama signs a $1.4 billion overhaul of the U.S. food safety system on Tuesday, after returning from a nearly two-week vacation in Hawaii before the new Congress convenes.

The bill gives the government greater authority to inspect processing plants in the U.S. and abroad.  It also gives the government the power to order recalls.  Current regulations allow the government only to request recalls.

Large farms and manufacturers will be required to create detailed food safety plans and keep records, so the government can easily trace recalled foods.  Imported foods will also face tougher restrictions.

The president has been largely out of sight during his vacation in the Pacific island state.  He will be facing a divided legislature when the new Congress convenes Wednesday, with Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives and Democrats suffering a reduced majority in the Senate.

Republican leaders have already announced plans to try to repeal Mr. Obama's major health care overhaul.

The repeal is unlikely to succeed, as it would have to be approved by the Democratically-controlled Senate and Mr. Obama himself.

Republicans have also vowed to reduce federal spending and shrink the size of government.

Before Mr. Obama left for his holiday, he had several important victories in Congress, including passage of major compromise legislation extending tax cuts and Senate approval of a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia.

During his return flight to Washington, Mr. Obama admitted "there's going to be politics" as Republicans assert their newly won power. But he said he is confident "they're going to recognize that our job is to govern."

The president is set to reshuffle the White House staff as he gears up for his re-election bid in 2012.  Senior political adviser David Axelrod will return to Chicago to head that effort.  U.S. news outlets say Mr. Obama is considering naming William Daley as his new chief of staff.  Daley was a commerce secretary under President Bill Clinton, and is the brother of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.  

Mr. Obama is also due to announce a replacement for Larry Summers, who headed his council of economic advisers.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs