"The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, S. 510, will be brought to the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday for a procedural vote."I hope it passes. Dan Flynn at FSN recaps the bill:
- Food Safety News (FSN), Could Food Safety Bill Clear Senate By Weekend?
- Increases inspection of both foreign and domestic food processors
- Grants FDA mandatory recall authority
- Requires joint planning by FDA and USDA (e.g. who is responsible for egg safety? FDA or USDA?)
Small farmers won't go out of business. This is a scare tactic. They will manage costs, as they do already, by passing them on to their customers.
People can have any food they want - local, organic, non-GMO, artisan - any food. They just have to pay for it.
It is deplorable that with 1 in 5 Americans receiving food assistance in this country (and those, according to the USDA1, are only the ones who receive it, not everyone who is eligible), assistance that restricts purchase of organic/artisan/specialty food, we have a contingent that wants to exempt a tiny group of high-end profiteers from sensible food safety legislation.
If trying to get the healthiest food into the hands of more Americans was the intent behind blocking this legislation, I believe a more effective method, one that would boost production and sales of organic and specialty food is to allow food assistance monies (currently around $61 billion/year!) to be used for their purchase. This would increase the market overnight. Why not fight for that instead? I don't see this happening.
It saddens me to think that some food activists care more about their own privileged plate than the plates of millions of less fortunate Americans.
Here's a recent video by food safety activist and attorney Bill Marler discussing infection by E. coli 0157:H7, bacteria whose prevalence in our food supply is growing, owing to modern livestock production practices. This is one reason why food safety legislation is so needed right now, to counter the recent and growing threat from shiga-toxin producing bacteria (which I discussed in 4 parts, starting here), among other food safety threats.