Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Litigation: A Blunt Instrument For Change

I enjoy reading Bill Marler's blog. If you want to know about the latest food safety outbreaks, his is the site to visit. A comparable government site might be FoodSafety.gov but it lacks coordination (and timely updating). Today is July 17, and their latest Selected Highlight is the June 9th E. coli Expanded Recall story. Nothing up top about the salmonella in Veggie Booty. You have to wade though the various agencies' sites to find it.

One reason I (along with Senators Durbin, Schumer, Casey, and Clinton) support the Safe Food Act 2007 is because it would establish this coordination.

Back to Bill. He's a Seattle attorney who specializes in food poisoning cases. This afternoon I caught an interview with him on a radio program that airs from Boston called Here and Now. The topic was, not surprisingly, food safety. A quote of his that stood out for me:
"We do have a broken food safety system in America. Having a lawyer in Seattle be the blunt instrument of change isn't necessarily the right way to approach food safety in America."
I agree with him. Litigation does seem, in this country at least, to provide comparable if not better public health protection than legislation. He said it better than I did though.

You can listen to the whole 4-minute interview here:
Here and Now: Bad Meat

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