Monday, November 29, 2010

Big News for Food Safety

Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser weighed in on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Bill, calling it the "best opportunity in a generation to improve the safety of the American food supply," in a New York Times Op-Ed published yesterday. "This legislation is by no means perfect. But it promises to achieve several important food safety objectives, greatly benefiting consumers without harming small farmers or local food producers."

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill tonight. Here are some basic objectives of the bill:
  • The bill would, for the first time, give the F.D.A. (who oversee 80% of American food) the authority to test widely for dangerous pathogens and to recall contaminated food.
  • The FDA would gain resources and authority to prevent food safety problems, rather than respond to them after people have become ill.
  • The bill would also require large-scale, high-risk food-production plants get more frequent inspections.
  • For the first time, imported foods would be subject to the same standards as those made in the United States.
  • Small farms are exempt from the bill and may continue to be regulated under state and local laws. 
  • Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma is annoying.


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