November 29, 2010

Safer Food Bill? No, thank you.

Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser just wrote an opinion article in The New York Times regarding the necessity of passing the Food Safety Modernization bill…even though it’s still facing some opposition.

The bill would make foreign importers of food face the same standards as domestic growers (building in some of the external costs that are required of US farmers), give the FDA the ability to force a recall before too many people get sick, all while keeping local farmers competitive. How does this not sound like a good idea? Especially when the FDA oversees 80% of our food supply.

It will also save us tons of money due to prevention of illness:

And as for spending that extra $300 million every year, a recent study by Georgetown University found that the annual cost of food-borne illness in the United States is about $152 billion. In Senator Coburn’s home state, it’s about $1.8 billion. Compared with those amounts, this bill is a real bargain.

Not only that but it seems like the people putting up the biggest fight are the ones who makes this legislation necessary in the first place:

By one estimate, the kinds of farms that the bill would exempt represent less than 1 percent of the food marketplace. Does the food industry really want to sabotage an effort to ensure the safety of 99 percent of that marketplace because it is so deeply concerned about under-regulation of 1 percent? The largest outbreaks are routinely caused by the largest processors, not by small producers selling their goods at farmers’ markets.

Please help yourself out and root for the passage of this bill.

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