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Food Safety Upgrades Will Soon Become Law

| On 24, Dec 2010

The government is getting a few more eyes to watch the food you're putting in your mouth.

Congress accomplished a whole helluva a lot of work before they left for break this month.

One of the bigger pieces of legislation that was finally approved by the U.S. House was the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010. In a nutshell, it will give the Food and Drug Administration control over about 80 percent of the food supply in the United States. They will have more power to conduct recalls and review records of growers. It will also require that growers implement food safety plans. Foreign countries that export food to the U.S. will also face tougher regulations.

The new rules, however, do not cover meat/poultry and items grown by small farmers. Meat safety is handled by the USDA. Small farmers are exempt because of the economic pinch they may suffer from trying to comply with the federal government. State and local governments usually oversee small growers.

The goal is to allow the FDA’s food safety process to be more PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE. You shouldn’t have to throw up your lunch and “wonder” if something you ate was bad. In a perfect world, they would have reduced the chance of you getting sick because more checks and balances will be in the system.

Remember those outbreaks from 2009 and 2010 of bad lettuce and eggs contaminated with God knows what? Well, this bill serves to curb a bit of that foolishness and get a watchful eye on the process. We need it.

Foodborne illness isn’t fun. It kills at least 3,000 people per year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are also 48 million people per year that suffer some sort of setback from nasty food. So, this legislation is right on time.

You should rejoice. Once the president signs this into law in January, he may save you about three or four diarrhea episodes per year. I’m all for that!

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