The timing of legislation that would overhaul the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) authority and capacity to regulate the food supply has been in question since the House passed its version of the bill last July.

Though the measure enjoys broad bipartisan support, and is backed by key industry, public health, and consumer groups, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) has been stalled behind priorities like health care reform and the jobs bill.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), chairwoman of the House agriculture appropriations subcommittee and a longtime advocate for tougher food safety regulations, said this week she believes the Senate will act within the year.

“I have every confidence that we are going to pass food safety legislation and this legislation is going to get to the President for a signature and that that’s going to happen this year,” DeLauro told her audience at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit in Chicago Wednesday.

Earlier this month, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which unanimously approved S. 510 in November, said that if all goes well, the food safety bill could be “on the President’s desk by May.”

“We’re hopeful we’ll have the food safety bill on the Senate floor, if not this work period, then it’ll be at the top of the list when we come back after Easter,” added Harkin.

See also:

HVP Recall Widens, More Call on Senate to Act March 6, 2010

Harkin: S.510 Could Be Signed by May March 4, 2010

Dingell: Senate ‘Slow to Act’ on Food Safety February 22, 2010.