Senate increases Clinton food safety spending to $68 million

WASHINGTON (AP) — Moving closer to President Clinton’s goal, the Senate voted Thursday to increase spending on the White House food safety initiative from $2.6 million to $68 million.
After an initially lukewarm response from the Republican-led Congress to his $101 million proposal, the president in recent weeks intensified lobbying efforts, including an appeal for more money during one of his recent radio addresses.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said the additional money would help improve food inspection, research, consumer education and outbreak tracking of the increasing number of illnesses and deaths caused by food contaminated by such microbes as E. coli and salmonella.
Much of the initiative focuses on research and on hiring up to 150 new FDA inspectors to check more imported food and evaluate processing systems in foreign countries.