With the considerable time that health care reform is taking in the U.S. Senate, it appears that food safety reform will not hit the floor of the Senate until early 2010. A number of amendments were introduced and withdrawn with the promise of additional discussions between HELP Committee members following the conclusion of the mark-up but before introduction on the Senate floor. Among these amendments were those introduced by Sen. Brown (D-OH) for mandatory country-of-origin labeling for food that identifies the country in which final processing of the food occurs and specifies that the country of final processing does not necessarily identify the origin of any ingredients in the food (for nonprocessed foods, only the country of origin would need to be identified). He also had introduced an amendment relating to traceback and recordkeeping that would replace Section 204 of the current version of the bill reported out of the HELP Committee (S. 510). The traceability amendment would create a directive for FDA to "by regulation establish a tracing system," whereas the bill reported out of Committee directs only for FDA to "improve the capacity of the Secretary to effectively and rapidly track and trace" without directing that a new system be established for doing so. The proposed amendment also would shorten by one year the performance deadline by which FDA must publish a proposed rule establishing standards for a tracing system. Sen. Brown's amendment would also introduce exemptions and limitations to the proposed traceback requirements similar to the passed House version of this legislation (H.R. 2749 at Section 107), including direct farm sales, fishing vessels, grains and similar commodities. To date, the Senate language does not include a provision for establishment registration fees; however, we expect that such a provision will ultimately find its way into this legislation, whether by way of a floor amendment or a conference report.