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Bloomberg reports that the US Senate has approved by an 80-17 vote a $125 billion budget – an 11 percent increase - for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that will, among other things, increase funding for food safety programs.

The bill is similar but not identical to a version passed by the House of Representatives: “The Senate bill … cuts in half President Barack Obama’s request for $14.6 million to pay for a voluntary animal identification program designed to make livestock tracking faster when disease outbreaks occur,” Bloomberg writes. “Funding for the program was stripped from the House spending plan.”

The two bills will have to reconciled by a joint committee before going back to the Senate and House vote on the final version, which would then go to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.
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