Federal Food Safety Modernization Act Passes Senate
Right now, bills are going through both the House and Senate that focus upon insuring that the food we buy to eat is indeed safe for all of us. The Senate just passed its Food Safety Modernization Act, and you can follow its progress here (S.510).
Introduced by Senator Durbin, and passing with bipartisan support, it’s destined to be the first major food safety legislation passed in Congress since 1938’s Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act.
President Obama has already voiced his approval of the proposed legislation. The House of Representatives must now vote its approval of the Senate’s proposed law after passage of its own Food Safety Enhancement Act (H.R.2749) back in July 2009.
What will the new federal food law do?
It expands FDA inspections of food facilities, itemizing a list of 50,000 facilities to be inspected between now and 2015. Additionally, it gives the FDA new powers to recall food; currently, the agency depends in large part upon food suppliers’ voluntarily recalls.
Not everyone is satisfied with the new proposition, of course. Read the letter sent to House and Senate leadership by produce growers concerned about its impact here. Check out the list of organizations that oppose its passage here, they include the American Mushroom Institute, the National Potato Council, and the National Watermelon Association.
Lastly, a warning to us all: if you buy a food or drink that you find suspicious in any way, don’t use it. Check with the FDA, return it to the store where you purchased the item. And, if someone becomes ill after eating or drinking, remember to get professional medical attention — and if necessary, legal help.
Because while it is good news that food safety laws are being addressed and modernized, these are tools of prevention. In Illinois, Indiana, and every other state in this country, laws are already on the books to bring justice for those who are harmed or killed by defective food and drink items. Product liability lawsuits based upon food poisoning and other food related injuries are available to you right now.