Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pathetic Gesture in FDA Legistlation Puts People Last

The House passed a very weak and pathetic food safety bill. It was supposed to help the FDA get some teeth, resources and authority after the beef, spinach, pepper and peanut calamities of the last 2 years. It was supposed to help prevent food borne illness from spreading. Food borne illness that killed kids and seniors in the case of the peanut paste recall. We should be trumpeting this, except...

WASHINGTON -- The House passed legislation to give the Food and Drug Administration more authority and resources to prevent food-borne illnesses after a string of outbreaks involving peanuts, spinach, hot peppers and other foods.

The 283-142 vote came after lawmakers from rural districts won concessions that would exempt farms from paying a registration fee, curb the FDA's access to farm records and limit its ability to set production standards to only the foods most likely to be contaminated.

The legislation also exempts farms and food facilities regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Senate isn't expected to act on similar legislation until later this year.

So let me get this straight, the FDA can't...
inspect farms
inspect farm records
and is limited in setting any production standards for farms and food facilities
and can only inspect foods and facilities that are most likely to be bad? And who determines that?

Meanwhile big industrial food companies grow and grow, factory farms are free to keep up their unhealthy practices. Be ready for a new recall or scandal soon ladies and gents. This bill will do very little to change anything, and the system as it stands in unsustainable.

cross posted from FL