If Congress can't solve tough issues like immigration reform, surely they can check off food safety legislation from the to-do list. Not so fast, my friend.

The  Pew Charitable Trusts will be releasing a poll this week that shows more than 80% of Nevadans support passing the Senate food safety bill. I'm sure those results mirror views in most states.

The problem is the shrinking legislative calendar. In The Washington Post blog PostPartisan, author Stephen Stromberg write that food safety may get pushed aside simply because Congress must attend to passing a financial reform bill, defense appropriations and an energy bill.

Yesterday, President Obama released this statement on food safety:

“A year ago today, the Food Safety Working Group, chaired by Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, announced key findings on how to upgrade the food safety system.  Since then, my Administration has taken steps to reduce the prevalence of E. coli, implemented new standards to reduce exposure to Campylobacter, and issued a rule to control Salmonella contamination.  Among other accomplishments, the FDA has conducted a pilot study on a tracing system, and HHS, in collaboration with USDA, has rolled out an enhanced and updated www.foodsafety.gov site to provide consumers rapid access to information on food recalls.
But there is more to be done.  Today, I thank the House for its work and support efforts in the Senate to pass S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.  This bipartisan bill would complement the work already undertaken by the Food Safety Working Group.  The bill addresses longstanding challenges in the food safety and defense system by promoting a prevention-oriented approach to the safety of our food supply and provides the Federal Government with the appropriate tools to accomplish its core food safety goals.”

That is saying all the right things, but it is no sure thing that even a bipartisan food safety bill can pass this year.