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Food-safety bill passes Senate

November 30, 2010

Great news. The Senate finally passed its food-safety bill by a margin of nearly 3-to-1. This bill will significantly strengthen the Food & Drug Administration. In a New York Times op-ed, Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser conclude that the bill marks “the best opportunity in a generation to improve the safety of the American food supply.”

The Food Safety Modernization Act promises to achieve several important food safety objectives which will greatly benefit consumers without harming small farmers or local producers. The bill will finally give the FDA the authority to prevent food-safety problems by testing for dangerous pathogens and recalling contaminated food. So rather than reacting to a problem once people have become ill or in some cases, even died, the FDA can now try to be a proactive organization. The food-safety bill also requires more frequent inspections of large-scale, mass-produced plants that are at high-risk.

Consumers will also be kept abreast of any recalled foods through alerts. This bill will require grocery stores to prominently display a list of recently recalled foods. And for the first time, imported foods will be subject to the same standards as those made in the U.S.

Way to be late to the game, America. Ay yi yi.

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