The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510) got the green light in the Senate earlier today, giving the FDA much more power over food safety. The act gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the ability to demand food recalls, a power it did not have in the past.
Opinions run strong on this bill. In the past couple of years, there have been recalls on everything from peanut butter to cookie dough to eggs. It seems as if tainted foods are becoming more frequent and more widespread as large-scale food production methods grow. Almost everyone agrees something needs to be done, but exactly how much power the FDA should be allowed and how the new power would affect small food producers is at the heart of the debate.
I want to point you to some resources and blogs focused on the issue so you can read to wrap your head around it.
- Govtrack.us: Head to this site for a link to the actual bill, amendments to the bill, and a summary of the bill.
- The Marler Blog: This is a blog that I dread seeing when it comes up in my RSS feed because I know that half the time I’m going to see a photo of a person extremely debilitated because of food poisoning or of a child who died from eating a bad hamburger. But, it’s those photos that Bill Marler puts on his blog that remind me that this issue affects real people and could someday affect someone I love. Marler is an attorney who fights for the rights of those made ill by food poisoning, and he’s very informed on the politics of it all. The link takes you to a list of his posts on S.510.
- A Stale Food Fight: Sustainable food author Michael Pollan and the producer of "Food, Inc.", Eric Schlosser, weigh in with their reasons why the Food Safety Modernization Act should pass in an op-ed peice for the New York Times.
- Food Politics: Marion Nestle’s blog has had a lot to say about S.510. She’s for the act, but she gives plenty of information about those who are against it and why.
- The Tea Party of Alabama: Okay, just to give a voice to the side in opposition, I’m including a link to this piece that tells readers to be very scared of S.510.