FOOD FIGHT!

The Food Safety and Modernization Act was passed in the Senate yesterday.

My immediate response is, “Whew.”  And “about freaking time.”

Then as I read articles and accounts of what’s going on, I start grumbling again.

The BPA ban was stripped from the bill. That’s a bummer.  Europe and even China, for God’s sake are taking steps to ban this endocrine-disruptor; apparently it would be too much for the “free market” to bear to require manufacturers to not include this particular chemical out of things like, oh, I don’t know, BABY BOTTLES.

Then I also read that the House still has to pass the sucker, not a foregone conclusion since the Senate version is so extremely watered down from the version the House passed last year. (I’m pragmatic enough to hope they pass it anyway.  Get it done, people.  Amend and make new laws later. The lame duck says “quack,” so get it done.)

I also find it absolutely mind-boggling that we need a huge food safety bill to give the FDA power to actually demand that corporations test their food for safety, and even more, to give the FDA power to demand a recall when the food has been found to be contaminated.  That we actually need a law to be able to  tell companies “um, your food is contaminated with stuff that will likely make people sick and possibly kill a few, so, um, maybe you should tell people there’s a problem and recall the food.”  That’s just…well, it’s another pathology, one that no government action can really address.

So, House of Representatives: do your jobs. Get it done.

Sincerely,

an American Citizen who Eats Food.

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Posted on December 1, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I respectfully disagree. I think that this bill will give some power to regulate big ag (which obviously needs regulating!). But the language also applies across the board to small independent farmers too, and could potentially wrap them in red tape which they can’t afford as many farmers I know are struggling to make ends meet as it is. Non-industrial farms don’t have big enough budgets to be able to just hire an extra person to deal with the newfound power of the FDA. And I’m not sure they are the ones we should be worrying about! People who have to look someone in the eye every week when they sell them their produce are not the ones who need such constant watching.
    It’s too bad, really. This bill could have been really helpful. I wish they hadn’t taken out the good parts.

  2. Thanks for the comment–I thought the concerns about small farmers had been addressed in this version of the bill…I’ll do more research!
    –J

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